The Hazards of Missing Teeth
Millions of Americans are living with at least one missing tooth. In addition to harming your self-esteem, tooth loss is a serious threat to your health. In fact, the number of teeth a patient is missing is an indicator of their overall health.
When you lose a tooth, it sets off a series of consequences that can cause you to lose even more teeth. Dental implants are the only smile restoration that actively counteracts all the factors that make tooth loss a threat to your smile and your overall health.
Implants Prevent Jawbone Depletion
When you lose a tooth, the bone mass around the empty socket begins to deteriorate. This process is known as resorption. It occurs because your bones require stimulation to remain strong.
When you have a full set of teeth, chewing works to strengthen the bones in your jaw, much like exercise makes your muscles stronger. By replacing your natural tooth root with a titanium fixture, dental implants stimulate bone growth and prevent depletion.
Unfortunately, alternative restorations such as dentures and dental bridges do nothing to counteract the effects of resorption. That’s because they’re not integrated with the jawbone the way dental implants are.
Dental Implants Protect Against Additional Tooth Loss
In a healthy smile, your teeth function as placeholders and keep each other in place. But as soon as you lose just one tooth, your remaining teeth will begin to shift around. This causes them to become loose and it also makes it more likely that you’ll lose additional teeth in the future.
As your teeth begin to move out of alignment, it irritates your gums and makes them more susceptible to gum disease, which is a nasty bacterial infection that’s commonly referred to as periodontal disease.
Symptoms of gum disease include redness, soreness, and bleeding of the gums, especially when you brush or floss. Call Dr. Scott Anderson right away at 970-236-2166 if you think you’re suffering from gum disease. We have treatments that work.
The Hazards of Gum Disease
Shifting teeth also create spaces where tartar and debris can accumulate. This provides opportunities for the bacteria that cause gum disease to grow. In addition to damaging your smile, gum disease leads to a number of serious medical issues that threaten your health.
Gum disease causes inflammation of the arteries in your mouth, and this can spread the infection to your heart and other sensitive areas. Research links untreated gum disease to the following medical ailments:
- Heart disease
- Premature childbirth
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Low birth weight