Tooth Loss and Your Health
Missing Teeth Can Damage Your Overall Health
Did you know that your oral health and your overall health are closely connected? Conditions that damage your smile, such as tooth loss and gum disease, will adversely affect systems throughout your body. In fact, the more teeth a person is missing, the more likely they are to have additional health issues.
A dental implant is the only smile restoration that helps preserve your smile by promoting jawbone growth and preventing your remaining teeth from shifting around. This protects you from many of the negative consequences of tooth loss that can damage your health.
Learn more about how missing teeth can affect your health and how replacing them with dental implants can help.
If You’re Missing a Tooth, You’re Not Alone
Millions of Americans live with tooth loss and the negative health consequences associated with it. In fact, the American College of Prosthodontics reports that more than one in every two people are missing at least one tooth and over 40 million Americans are toothless.
Not only does having missing teeth make you self conscious and less likely to smile, it can damage your health in many ways. Even if you’re missing just one tooth, your chewing ability can become compromised, making it difficult to eat all of the nutrient-rich foods necessary for good health. Having one or more missing teeth can also put you at a higher risk for oral infections, including gum disease.
Tooth Loss and Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious bacterial infection that threatens both your smile and the rest of your body. Symptoms of gum disease include sensitive gums, bleeding gums, and bad breath. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Taylor right away so you can get the right treatment. The sooner we begin to treat your gum disease, the better.
If gum disease is not treated by a dentist, it will eventually cause your teeth to become loose and fall out. Once a patient loses a tooth due to gum disease, their remaining teeth will begin to shift our of place. This irritates the gums and accelerates the negative effects of gum disease, leading to the loss of even more teeth.
How Gum Disease Affects Your Overall Health
Unfortunately, gum disease doesn’t just hurt your smile. It causes damage to organs throughout the body. That’s because gum disease results in swelling of the blood vessels which allows the bacteria to spread to other regions.
Researchers have discovered links between gum disease and serious medical issues, including strokes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, osteoporosis, premature births, and diabetes. It’s crucial to prevent gum disease in order to protect your health.
How You Can Prevent Gum Disease
The bacteria that cause gum disease feed on plaque, tartar, and food particles in your mouth. The best way to prevent gum disease is to practice effective oral hygiene. That means brushing and flossing daily and visiting Dr. Taylor for regular checkups.
How Dental Implants Protect Your Health
Unlike other smile restorations, dental implants actively prevent conditions that can damage your smile. For example, when you lose a tooth, your jawbone immediately begins to deteriorate around the socket of the missing tooth. This occurs because the bone is no longer being stimulated by the motion related to chewing.
The destruction of the jawbone associated with tooth loss is referred to as resorption. Dental implants provide the necessary stimulation to prevent resorption and keep your jawbone strong.
Dental implants also protect your smile by holding your remaining teeth in place. If your missing teeth aren’t replaced, the surrounding will begin to shift around, and this can damage the teeth and gums. It also leaves spaces where dangerous bacteria can get trapped, causing tooth decay and gum disease.