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How Dental Implants Improve Overall Health

By In Preventive Dentistry May 14, 2019

How Dental Implants Improve Overall Health

Most of us understand that dental restorations supported by dental implants can last a lifetime and offer far superior stability than traditional bridges and dentures. However, some of the additional health benefits of dental implants may not be as well known.

Jawbone Preservation

When teeth are missing from the jaw, bone atrophy (reabsorption) begins. The longer teeth go without a comprehensive replacement, the more advanced this process becomes. 

One of the consequences of jawbone loss is an alteration in facial contours that often lead to a thinning and protruding chin or a prematurely aged appearance. Additional tooth loss is another complication of jawbone loss.

While adhesive-based dentures provide function and the ability to speak and chew better than without the appliance, they cannot typically be relied on to always stay in place. With the changes in underlying bone, dentures must be adjusted regularly for a continued comfortable fit.

The way dental implants prevent or reduce the pace of reabsorption is by stimulating the jawbone and promoting new bone growth. This bone growth causes the implant post to fuse with the jaw and helps maintain structure and natural facial contours.

Gum Health

The stimulation provided to the bone by a dental implant also supports the health of soft-tissue. Healthy gums are not only essential to prevent tooth-loss, but they are also the body’s first defense against the infiltration of potent oral bacteria from traveling beyond the mouth. While dental implants help oral tissues stay healthy, traditional dentures can irritate gums and in some cases, cause infection.

The Overall Health, Gum Disease Connection

Several recent university studies have established a clear link between poor oral health or gum disease and reduced quality of overall health. Some serious illnesses have been singled out as being significantly impacted by stray oral bacteria. These conditions include:

Diabetes – Diabetics are more prone to periodontal (gum) disease, and gum disease exacerbates diabetes. If you have this condition and are missing teeth, it is vital that you take vigilant care of your gums. If you have missing teeth, replacing them with the added support of dental implants will make an improved home hygiene routine easier, and keep the underlying bone and gum tissue healthier.

Heart and Lung Disease – Either through inhalation or breaks in unhealthy gum tissue, oral bacteria can cause additional stress on cardiac and respiratory systems. There is continual research on the exact cause of the correlation between those with poor gum health and heart/lung disease, but infection and the accumulation of plaque in the arteries are targeted issues of concern.

Dementia –There is a high number of dementia patients with gum disease which may be due to a build-up of plaque caused by oral bacteria. The symptoms of dementia can cause a decline in personal oral hygiene, so it is important that these individuals visit their dental health professional often. 

Premature Birth – Enzymes produced at the end of a full-term pregnancy are similar to those produced in by gum disease. An accumulation of these orally produced enzymes can increase the risk of early labor and delivery.

Your Oral Health and Overall Well-Being

While there is still much to learn, we now know that a healthy smile contributes to better overall health. Think of your mouth as a gateway to the rest of your body and remember that what you eat and drink, and how you care for your smile are important elements to your total well-being. Call Port Orange Dentist to learn more about improving your quality of life through better oral health.

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