I recently got a dental implant to replace my missing tooth. I love the way it looks, but I’ve noticed some blood around it and on my tooth brush when I brush. There’s not really any pain associated with the bleeding and it doesn’t seem like the implant is loose or anything. When I started the implant process, my dentist told me that I should think about giving up smoking because I would have better long-term success with the implant. I’ve tried to quit, but it’s just not working. It’s been about three months… is bleeding normal or could my smoking be causing it? — Mike
Smoking is always risky when it comes to your health, and hopefully your dentist explained that it can also make replacing teeth with dental implants more complicated – but it certainly isn’t impossible. Long-term, smoking can cause periodontal disease as well as bone and tissue loss in your mouth. Nicotine can also reduce the blood flow in the mouth – all of which can increase the risk of implant failure.
Having said that, it’s unlikely that smoking would be the direct cause of the bleeding. New dental implants are very sensitive, and it can take several months for them to heal completely. Do you tend to brush hard? If so, that could definitely cause some bleeding around the implant. If the implant was failing, you would likely have pain or notice that the implant itself feels loose. If it’s just a little bleeding, try a lighter brushing technique and see if it that helps. If you’re concerned, talk with your dentist to be sure.