How Tooth Loss Affects Your Health
Your body is an intricate system, like a machine, and when one function changes, it can affect the rest of your body in a myriad of ways. It shouldn’t be a surprise that your oral health can influence the rest of your body. When even one tooth is lost it can affect your overall health as well.
How Does Tooth Loss Occur?
Tooth loss can occur in one of three ways:
- Bad oral hygiene habits
- Physical trauma to the face
At Herman Family Dentistry, we understand the devastating effects of tooth loss on a patient’s health and well beings. By investing in dental implants, patients can put a stop to the long-term effects of tooth loss and restore their smiles.
The Effects of Tooth Loss
After you lose a tooth, you may not notice any difference other than a change in your smile’s appearance. However, tooth loss has other effects including:
- Loss of functionality
- Increased risk of oral infection
- Jawbone weakening
- Premature wrinkling
- Increased likelihood of pain
- Reduced self-esteem
- Anxiety and sadness
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, contact our Vincennes office at (812) 882-1572 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Herman today.
The Risks Of Tooth Loss
There are risks associated with prolonged tooth loss, such as:
- Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Tooth loss provides an open wound to be exposed to possible infections. Bacteria can easily get in and inflame the tissue around the site. Even after it has healed, the empty space makes your surrounding teeth vulnerable to bacteria as well. Infection can spread to other areas of your gum tissue and lead to gum disease.
- Cardiovascular Problems: The types of bacteria that cause gum disease can also travel to other areas of the body, such as the heart and arteries. These bacteria can inflame the tissues in the systems, leading to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Pregnancy Risks: Gum disease bacteria is also linked to premature births, putting both mother and child at risk.
- Poor Nutrition: You may find that it’s not easy to uphold a healthy diet, or may need to change how your food is prepared to accommodate your inability to chew properly.
Three Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease can be a problem of mild severity or one that causes great pain and puts your teeth at risk. In fact, it’s vital to treat gum disease as soon as possible — otherwise, it will get significantly worse. There are three stages of gum disease:
The first sign of gingivitis is red and swollen gums. There may be irritability or pain when brushing, flossing, and eating. As this is the mildest stage, you won’t lose teeth. However, you might start to see infected pockets forming in your gums.
The longer you leave gingivitis untreated, it develops into periodontitis. During this stage, the infected pockets in the gums are more prevalent and larger than they were previously. There may be permanent damage to the fibers that hold the teeth in place.
Advanced periodontitis is the most severe form of gum disease. In this stage, every function involving your mouth is likely to lead to pain, discomfort, and your teeth will be on the verge of falling out. Treatment at this stage will more likely be a supplemental procedure, such as a gum grafting procedure.
Dental Implants: Your Solution to Tooth Loss
Herman Family Dentistry believes in restoring your smile to protect your oral health and overall health. We’re glad to offer dental implants as a restorative solution. Dental implants are permanent and durable and are able to withstand the natural pressures of textured foods.
The first step into your dental implant journey is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Herman at our Vincennes office at (812) 882-1572. You’ll be evaluated for candidacy, and discuss your options with Dr. Herman before making a decision on how you want to proceed.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can dental implants protect my oral health?
Dental implants can help prevent further tooth loss by supporting the neighboring teeth. This can help prevent shifting from taking place and gum disease from developing in the gap. Dental implants can also prevent your jawbone from weakening and bring back the ability to speak and chew normally.
How does gum disease develop?
Gum disease develops when plaque accumulates near the gum line and causes the gum tissue to become infected. When left untreated, the condition worsens as pockets form in the gums and the infection spreads. Eventually, the fibers that hold the teeth are irreparably damaged and these later stages may require surgery for the patient to make a full recovery.
To prevent gum disease from developing, Dr. Herman recommends following these instructions:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Flossing daily
- Rinse after meals with mouthwash
- Schedule biannual visits for checkups and professional dental cleanings at Herman Family Dentistry.
Does gum disease affect those with dental implants?
If you currently have dental implants or have just gotten them, gum disease can still be a potential threat to your health. It’s important to practice good dental hygiene and treat gum disease at the offset.
If you currently have gum disease but will be starting the implant journey, it will have to be treated before the implant surgery. There are multiple aspects of implant surgery that have to be successfully completed. Otherwise, it’s not worth the risk of gum disease jeopardizing the procedure and health of the patient.
How do I treat gum disease?
There are several treatments to clean and restore the mouth to a healthy condition:
- Scaling and root planing are used for mild-moderate gum disease to deep clean the teeth all the way down to their roots.
- Certain medications can cause gum disease and others can eliminate it. It’s important to tell Dr. Herman which medications you’re on so he can determine if any of them are exacerbating the problems.
- Surgical treatments may be required for patients with advanced periodontitis in order to restore gum tissue. Gum graft is common as it takes gum tissue from one part of the mouth and places it in the affected area to reform a healthy layer of gum tissue.
Save Your Health Today
At Herman Family Dentistry, we believe in restoring your smile to protect your oral health and your confidence in your smile. To learn more about dental implants or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Herman, call our Vincennes office at (812) 882-1572. You can also fill out our online contact form and one of our staff will get to you promptly.