Oral Health

How Missing Teeth Lead to Gum Disease

Many people try to live with their missing teeth, especially if the gap is not that noticeable. However, a more beautiful smile is not the only reason to get dental implants. One thing that patients need to learn is that without treatment, tooth loss can have a significant negative effect on the teeth left behind.

gum diseaseOne of the most likely complications is gum disease. After some years with missing teeth, many people find that they have developed gingivitis or periodontitis. What caused this?

A Devastating Chain Reaction

The link between gum disease and tooth loss is simple: when there are large gaps between your teeth, oral hygiene becomes significantly more difficult to maintain. It is much easier for food debris to become stuck in that space, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Plaque and tartar gradually build up, compromising the health of your teeth and encouraging infections.

As your immune system attacks the infection, your gums become inflamed. Over time, this wears away at your gums (a process called gum recession), and exposes both the roots of your teeth and the jawbone to bacteria. This severe form of gum disease is called periodontitis, and it can lead to further tooth loss and a host of other health problems.

Other Consequences of Missing Teeth

Proper oral hygiene can help prevent gum disease from developing. But this is not the only potential consequence of tooth loss. Missing teeth can also:

• Result in serious bite problems as the remaining teeth shift to ‘close the gap’.

• Affect the overall structure of the mouth.

• Cause speech problems and difficulty in chewing certain foods.

• Lead to significant jawbone deterioration and facial collapse over the years.

As you can see, the issue goes beyond aesthetics. Replacing your missing teeth on a timely basis with dental implants is important for your oral health as a whole. Our practice can help with this; call us today, and schedule your appointment. We would be glad to help you regain your smile and confidence.

Forming Healthy Oral Habits Easily

People spend a majority of their days outside the home for either work or school, and neglect the state of their dental health for most of that time. Dentists always tell their patients that brushing twice a day is enough, but the fact of the matter is that dental care is a 24-hour responsibility. Patients should always be conscious of the state of their teeth regardless of where they are during the day.

oral healthNow, no one is saying that patients should constantly be thinking about brushing their teeth, but they should adopt a set of habits that encourages dental health. Cultivating these habits should begin at home where there is more control, slowly expanding to outside areas in small increments.

Rabbit Food

The first thing patients can do – as cliché as it sounds – is eat healthy. Most of the food that mainstream nutritionists consider as ‘healthy’ contains fewer sugars, posing a smaller threat to teeth. The best time to apply this strategy is when patients are young; it is easier to build good habits without having to break down old and bad ones first.

Running along the same line of thought, another good habit is to begin including fruits and dairy in a packed lunch. The fruit will satisfy any cravings for sweets, and the milk will help keep teeth stay healthy and strong. A carton of milk or some string cheese should do the job quite nicely.

Group Brushing

The strongest form of habit reinforcement, however, is still repetition, which is difficult to keep up with. Fortunately, there is one way patients can ensure that they maintain the daily ritual of taking care of their teeth – doing it in a group. People are more likely to do something when everyone else is doing it, and having more people involved will include more heads to remember it as well.

There is no need for patients to remember dental hygiene as long as they build the right habits that encourage dental health. If you want to get more helpful advice about how to improve your oral health, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our staff is more than happy to set an appointment and answer any questions you might have.