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Proactive Advice To Help Seniors Maintain Good Oral Health Throughout The Golden Years

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Proactive Advice To Help Seniors Maintain Good Oral Health Throughout The Golden Years

Genetics and environmental factors surely have much to do with the length of our lifespan and our general level of health as we age. However, recent medical findings indicate that oral health has a direct bearing on our risk for developing certain serious diseases and conditions. Although most people take good care of their teeth from childhood through middle age, maintaining dental health may not be given as much priority later in life, even though it certainly should. If you are in your fifties or beyond, taking time to incorporate the following dental health tips into your daily routine might just help you remain healthy and active for decades to come! Continue to Brush & Floss Daily Dentists know that daily brushing and flossing helps clean the teeth, increase circulation to the gums and decrease the risk of many serious dental conditions. However, some seniors who wear dentures are less likely to perform this daily hygiene task, opting to just clean their dentures, instead. If you are guilty of this, you should know that even as a denture wearer, brushing your gums and tongue with a soft brush and a gentle toothpaste or baking soda offers many benefits, including: freshening the mouth and breath increasing healthy blood flow throughout the oral tissues decreasing the bacteria levels in the mouth decreasing the risk of developing sores  removing particles of food that could make wearing dentures uncomfortable  Examine Your Mouth For Tissue Changes  The risk for oral cancer increases with age. In fact, statistics show that more than two thirds of oral cancer patients are age 55 or older.  One of the first signs of oral cancer is often a change in the appearance or texture of the tissues inside the mouth, including the tongue, floor of the mouth, gums, lips or interior lining of the cheek. As with all cancers, early detection and diagnosis are the keys to a positive outcome and seniors who learn to perform a periodic oral exam at home are taking a proactive step prevent this type of cancer and to remain healthy as they age.  To perform a home exam on yourself, you will need a small, freestanding, lighted, magnifying mirror and a square of sterile gauze. Begin the exam by opening your mouth and using the lighted mirror to look for any discolorations, lumps, sores or textural changes in all parts of your mouth and any visible areas of your throat. Using the gauze, grasp your tongue and extend it up and out to allow you to see underneath and along the bottom surface of the tongue. If you wear any type of denture or oral appliance, remember to remove them before performing the examination. Since every mouth will look different, performing this exam frequently will help familiarize you with what is normal for you and enable you to spot minor changes as they occur. Any change, no matter how small, should be checked by your dentist as soon as possible after discovery.  Continue to Utilize Professional Dental Care Even if you wear full or partial dentures and have no known dental problems, seeing your dentist regularly is an investment in your overall health and wellness. Your dentist is trained to notice subtle changes in your oral health levels, as well as ensure that your...

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Bleeding Gums: What Could They Mean?

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Bleeding Gums: What Could They Mean?

Although most likely innocuous, bleeding gums are a phenomenon you should take seriously straight from the get go. Many times bleeding gums are simply a sign of brushing too hard, while others merely have sensitive gums and are susceptible to the use of floss, or even a less than a vigorous tooth brushing. Other times, the reason for bleeding gums could be more malignant than benign. This brief article will address several potentialities for what this could mean for your gums. A Lack Of Oral Hygiene Brushing daily is an integral part of not only the health of your teeth, but your gums as well. If you do not brush daily, plaque and yellowing can begin to form on the teeth within 24 to 36 hours. Likewise, gums can become swollen and red, and studies have shown that within mere days, the gums can easily become diseased. There is, of course, an easy solution to this problem: take better care of your mouth. Brush and floss daily, as well as take oral probiotic mints and rinse with anti-bacterial mouthwash. Your Diet Is Poor Although having a solid diet is an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle, having a healthy diet is not only important for your waistline, but also important towards protecting your gums. It is strongly recommended that you indulge yourself in fruits, vegetables and fish. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamins C and D will embolden the strength of your gums, while fish are rich in Vitamin E and is a natural anti-inflammatory, which will ensure that your gums will not succumb to swelling. You’re A Smoker Smoking is one of the worst things you can possibly do for your gums. It will quickly make your gums swollen, as well as impairing proper blood flow to the gums, which means that they can easily succumb to disease and bacteria. This means that your gums will easily bleed as well. Smoking with open sores in the gums means that the additives can easily enter the blood stream, which is not only poor for your gums, it is quite awful for your entire body. Stress Even though most causes of bleeding gums are physical, there are psychological reasons why your gums may not be enjoying the healthiest lifestyle that they possibly could. Stress, depression and anxiety can actually increase inflammation within the gums. This is believed to be caused by heightened levels of cortisol in the body, which spikes when you are stressed, causing them to bleed and eventually giving way to gum disease. You Have A Genetic Predisposition Towards Gum Disease Those with a family history of gum disease are actually more likely to contract gum disease than those without such a family history. Around 30% of the population is actually born with a genetic predisposition to contracting gum disease. Luckily, DNA testing actually makes it quite easy to discover whether or not you have this predisposition to gum disease or not. There are many different strains of bacteria that are known to cause gum disease, and some families are more likely to be sensitive to these bacteria than others. If you do discover that you have a family history of gum disease, there are actually several options that you can pursue, including laser surgery,...

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Stopping The Daily Grind: Treatment Options For Bruxism

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your smile is an important part of your appearance and self-esteem, but the underlying health of your teeth should be a priority. While surprising to hear, a simple act of grinding your teeth can be a serious problem for the look and health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. The condition, known as bruxism, affects an estimated 30 to 40 million children and adults. If you are currently experiencing pain in you jaw or dealing with eroded tooth enamel and decay, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Using this guide, and with the help of professionals at a site like http://www.vfdental.com you can treat your bruxism and have an attractive, healthy smile. Stress Relief Your dentist will need to determine the cause of your specific case, but approximately 70 percent of cases are caused by stress. Of course, stress is difficult to avoid, so consulting your physician is smart.  Prescription medications may be helpful to ease anxiety, but using natural stress relievers is a healthier alternative. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Consider walking or jogging daily to ease tense muscles and relax your mind. Following a healthy diet is also important for your physical and mental health. Incorporate more foods that are rich in vitamin C to fight stress. Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are all delicious, but they are also beneficial to your emotional and physical health. Professional Relief If you have a misaligned bite and are undergoing orthodontic care, consider the following options to prevent further damage and discomfort from bruxism: Mouth Guard – Ask your orthodontist to create a custom mouth guard to wear while sleeping. Wearing a guard each night will protect your teeth from further grinding damage. In addition, the guards decrease morning discomfort after a full night of grinding and clenching. Braces – Your orthodontist may suggest correcting your bite with a set of braces. While you may not find this appealing as an adult, braces are effective solutions for realigning your bite and preventing further damage from tooth grinding. Surgery – In severe cases of bruxism, dentists may recommend a surgical procedure to realign your jaw. Although invasive, surgery may be the best option if you are suffering with a severely misaligned bite. At Home Relief Treating your stress and visiting your dentist are both important for treating bruxism. However, you can also ease your discomfort at home. Consider the following techniques to reduce the discomfort: Compress – Soak a towel in hot water and wring out the excess liquid. Place the towel on your face and jaw area before going to sleep. Allow it to rest on the area for 20 minutes for instant relaxation. You can also use a heating pad. Massage – Ever night before going to sleep, ease the tension by massaging your facial muscles and jawbone. Apply a teaspoon of warming massage oil to your fingertips and massage your face using gentle circular motions. The pleasant act decreases the tension in your face and jaw, resulting in fewer episodes of grinding and clenching. Oil Pulling – Swish a teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes. After the time, spit the oil into a trash can and brush your teeth as normal. This act of oil pulling removes...

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How Can You Tell Whether Your Dental Implants Are The Right Size?

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Millions of Americans enhance their smiles with dental implants each year, but the American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports that only 10% of dentists who practice in the United States offer this procedure. Applying implants requires special training and/or board certification in some areas, which may explain why the insertion of dental implants has a 95% or higher overall success rate. Unfortunately, sometimes issues still occur. Here are some ways to figure out whether an installed dental implant is the right size for your mouth. Alignment With Other Teeth When you request a dental implant procedure, you probably want to enhance the function of your teeth, but you also may want to improve the appearance of your smile. Implants, when installed correctly, can fill gaps in your grin with smooth, white teeth. If an implant is not placed correctly, it may appear to be longer or shorter than its surrounding teeth.  An experienced dental practitioner knows to measure the area carefully where the implants will be applied, but a measurement that is even a couple of millimeters off can impact a patient’s smile dramatically. A tooth may also end up being the wrong size if measurements were taken before the gums had time to heal from a tooth extraction. When a tooth is removed, the bones and gum shrink around the area where the tooth originally sat. A bone graft can help prevent this issue, and a tissue graft can help repair it if you are already dealing with misaligned implants. Loose Dentures Some patients choose to wear dentures over their dental implants. Your dentures should fit snugly but comfortably around your regular teeth and implants. If your dentures feel too tight, then one — or all — of your implants may be too big. Loose dentures that slide out of place may be the result of a too-small implant or an implant in need of maintenance.  The same set of dental implants can remain in your mouth throughout your entire life, but they do require ongoing maintenance. You may need multiple adjustments over the years, but the exact number depends on your lifestyle and how well you care for your implants. It’s important to have a trusted dental expert examine your implants if you notice that your dentures are slipping out of place frequently, as loose dentures may cause discomfort or even leave painful lacerations on your gums.  Sinus Issues After having implants installed, you may notice some pain in the sinus region. This area is located around your nose and below your eyes. The symptoms may be temporary, especially if you were diagnosed with sinus problems prior to your implant procedure. If symptoms do not improve within a week or two, your implants might be responsible for your discomfort. Some skilled surgeons perform a sinus augmentation prior to installing dental implants. This procedure frees up room for a bone graft, which helps make a patient’s mouth strong enough to support a set of implants. If this procedure is skipped or performed incorrectly, dental implants in the back of the mouth may end up being too large for the patient. Sometimes this issue causes pain without infection, but there are times when bacteria can get trapped in the sinus region. If you experience severe, post-implant sinus pain, pay a visit...

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4 Painful Reasons You Might Need Dental Work At Odd Hours

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you have a regular dentist, chances are you visit that office twice a year at most for regular checkups and cleanings. If a problem develops with a tooth, in many cases it’s not troublesome or urgent enough to seek immediate care, so you can schedule treatment at your leisure (within reason). Once in a while however, you might suddenly have a serious problem that could mean agonizing pain or permanent tooth loss — only to find your dental office closed for the day or even for the weekend. Here are four painful reasons you’d better have a 24-hour dentist like Milan Simanek DDS standing by in your address book. 1. Abscesses Everyone is familiar with the sitcom caricature of the toothache patient with the swollen mouth wrapped in a makeshift bandage, desperate to get relief wherever he can find it — even if it means yanking the offending tooth right out his head. If you’ve ever experienced a toothache yourself, however, you know that there’s nothing amusing or exaggerated about that image. Toothaches are most usually caused by abscesses, bacterial infections underneath the gum line. An abscess at the base of a tooth root may fester slowly over months or years, but at some point it will put enough pressure on bone and nerve tissue to produce severe swelling and pain. The only solutions to this agony are extraction or emergency root canal surgery. For either remedy you need a skilled dentist who can spring into action early on a Sunday morning, at 3am on a Tuesday night, or whenever you need help. 2. Sports Mishaps Do you or your family members play any kind of contact sport? If so, you’d better know how to contact a 24-hour dentist on short notice. A hockey puck, elbow, or foot to the mouth can knock out one or more teeth instantly. The good news is that knocked-out teeth can often be saved and re-implanted if immediate action is taken. The standard practice is to place the tooth in a glass of milk or simply push it back into the exposed socket to keep it moist, then rush to your dentist for emergency restoration.  Can you see the problem here? Most sporting events typically take place either at night, on the weekends, or both. Regular season high school football games, for instance, are always scheduled for Friday nights, with college games scheduled for Saturdays. With a dentist who can step in 7 days a week, including evenings, those knocked-out teeth are going to die, leaving no restoration alternative except for dentures, bridges or implants. 3. Personal Injuries No matter how perfectly coordinated you or your loved ones may be, accidents happen. You can trip on a toy and fall on your face during a midnight trip to the bathroom, or slip and bang your tooth against that gutter you were cleaning on an otherwise uneventful Saturday. You might even get involved in an automobile accident that throws your mouth into the car dashboard during a weekend getaway. All of these injuries can easily occur “after hours,” leaving you with a serious problem such as: A cracked or broken tooth that exposes a nerve, causing constant, intense pain A knocked-out tooth that requires immediate attention in order to be saved (as in the sports...

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Is Your Case Of Gingivitis A Warning Sign For Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Posted by on Mar 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease, but it’s still a serious condition that needs immediate treatment so it doesn’t worsen and cause tooth loss. However, bleeding from your gums when you floss could also lead to severe joint pain and stiffness years or decades later. Discover what the latest research says about the potential link between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gingivitis. The Bacterial Link When you fail to brush and floss properly for a while, plaque builds up and lets bacteria gain access to the tooth roots hidden under the gum. The bacteria known as Porphyromonas gingivalis starts flourishing and attacking the gum tissue, causing inflammation and further damage. Recent investigations show that this bacteria produces an enzyme that speeds up cartilage breakdown in the joints and other parts of the body, making RA even more disabling. While it’s not clear if gingivitis can cause rheumatoid arthritis outright, it definitely worsens the symptoms after it develops. Patients already suffering from RA also have a much higher chance for developing gum disease. Once gingivitis sets in after RA, the gum disease also causes more damage to the gums and teeth than it does for patients without the inflammatory joint disease. Genetic Connections It’s not just bacteria creating a link between these two seemingly unrelated health problems. Research into genetic markers to find potential warning signs for RA discovered a gene that correlates with RA development. Interestingly enough, 80% of patients experiencing severe cases of gum disease also had the same gene. This could mean that there’s a bigger cause behind both diseases, or that they’re both passed down genetically from parents to children. The research is far from conclusive on the genetic link. However, it’s still helpful information for both RA and gingivitis patients because it means it’s important to stay vigilant for early symptoms of either condition. Shared Inflammation Aside from the genetic and bacterial connections between the two health concerns, they both involve serious inflammation. Whether it’s swelling in the joints or redness in the gums, this inflammation can create other health problems like: Chronic or short-term fatigue not related to exertion or a lack of sleep Low grade fever Stiff and sore muscles, not just joints Headaches or migraines Weight loss due to a reduced appetite Some researchers and doctors think the inflammation that sets in during gingivitis could trigger the immune system to become overactive and start attacking the joints too. More research is needed to see if this theory holds any water. Protecting Your Mouth and Joints While there’s no way to prevent RA from setting in, you can take steps to keep gingivitis away. These steps are even more important if you’re already diagnosed with a form of arthritis or other chronic inflammation disease. Start by brushing after every meal, flossing every day, and using an antiseptic mouthwash. If your doctor diagnoses you with RA, schedule visits to the dentist for three or four month intervals instead of biannually. This gives the dentist a chance to catch the earliest warning signs of gum disease before it can get serious. Early treatment helps eliminate the Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria before it can make your RA pain and swelling much worse. Staying mindful of the potential and proven connections between gingivitis and RA can help...

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What Your Kid’s Dentist Wishes You Knew

Posted by on Feb 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hearing your child needs dental work is never a happy prospect. If you’re facing a kid who needs a filling or something more extensive, you probably have some questions, and may not know what to expect. Here are a few things your child’s dentist probably wishes you knew about how children’s dental treatment and how treating kids is different from treating adults.  Your child should see the dentist early and often. Some parents are unaware of the importance of their child seeing a dentist early, or are unaware of when they should take them for their first visit. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends taking your child for their first checkup when their first tooth erupts, or no later than their first birthday. This helps you get the jump on any problems that may be developing. It can also help your child adjust to seeing the dentist, which can help prevent crippling fear of the dentist later on in life. Yes, it is worth it to treat baby teeth. The first question many parents ask when faced with extensive treatment of dental problems is “Is it really necessary? They’re just baby teeth.” The answer is unequivocally yes. Baby teeth do more than help your child chew. Leaving baby teeth untreated can affect how they learn to speak, and it can even spread disease and decay to their adult teeth. Not to mention the root of baby teeth is closer to the surface and cavities will cause toothaches faster in children than adults.  Pulling baby teeth is sometimes a secondary option for some families, but this can leave a child without teeth for a lengthy period, which also affects how they learn to speak, and can create problems when the permanent teeth begin to erupt. Baby teeth act as guides for adult teeth and without them there is a higher likelihood of crowding, malalignment and other dental problems. It is best to save the baby teeth if they can be saved. Children need sedation more than adults. Once the decision to proceed with treatment has been made, your child’s dentist will discuss with you the options he or she recommends for sedation. Many parents are unaware of the necessity of this step in treating children. For adults, visiting the dentist for treatment can be unnerving and upsetting, but for children it can be downright traumatizing. The level of sedation used will depend on the child, the child’s age, and how much work needs done. For older kids all that may be needed is nitrous oxide gas. This gas helps your child relax and feel less anxiety. The second level of sedation is called conscious sedation, and involves the administration of a narcotic. It is given as a liquid medicine, and makes children sleepy and much less anxious.  The third level of sedation is reserved for kids who need a lot of dental work done, and for very young babies and children who will not be able to sit still through a long procedure. General anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist, and involves a combination of narcotic drugs and “knock out gasses” that will put your child to sleep. Though adults sometimes need help coping with anxiety, few require general anesthesia, but this level of sedation is commonly used by...

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4 Safe Ways To Deal With Gum Disease While Pregnant

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Forty percent of pregnant women develop gum disease while they are pregnant. Generally, pregnancy gingivitis is caused by the high level of progesterone pregnant women produce, and it can become worse if you eat too many carbohydrates and sugars, forget to brush or floss, or have extreme morning sickness. The good news is that there are many safe ways to treat gum disease, even while you are pregnant. Brushing and Flossing  The easiest way to prevent gum disease and to treat mild gum disease is through consistent brushing, flossing, and rinsing with proper technique. When you become pregnant, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss the best mouthwash and toothpaste to use throughout your pregnancy. While you are at your pregnancy dental screening, you should take the time to get x-rays and have your hygienist evaluate your brushing technique. This will help you catch any problems early enough for topical medication and daily rinses to help. Depending on the health of your gums at the beginning of your pregnancy, your dentist may suggest multiple professional cleanings during your pregnancy.  Deep Cleaning and Medication  Many women are afraid to get professional dental care during their pregnancy because they fear that x-rays an anesthetics can harm their unborn baby. Contrary to this popular belief, most obstetricians and dentists agree it is better for you to get necessary dental treatment during pregnancy rather than wait until you give birth. In fact, it has been shown that if you have periodontal disease during the pregnancy, deep cleaning, known as scaling an root planing, can reduce your risk of having a preterm birth.  It is important that you let your dentist know you are pregnant before you receive local anesthetic for a scaling procedure. This information may cause them to slightly alter their method of injection and amount of anesthetic.  Oil Pulling With Herbal Antibiotics Oil pulling has not been proven to reduce gum disease, but many people believe it can. If you select an oil with antibacterial properties, such as coconut oil, and add a few drops of an astringent essential oil, such as tea tree oil or eucalyptus, you will reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth, which can slow the effects of gum disease.  If you choose to use oil pulling or any other herbal remedy it is important that you are consistent. Oil pulling should be done once or twice a day for at least ten minutes to be effective. You should also consult with your dentist to make sure that you have caught your gum disease early enough for oil pulling to be effective without other interventions.  Oral Antibiotics One common way to treat advanced gum disease is with oral antibiotics. The most commonly prescribed antibiotic is doxycycline, which is considered a schedule D drug and has been shown to not be safe during pregnancy. However, many types of antibiotics are considered safe during pregnancy.  Depending on your dentist’s experience with pregnant women, he or she may be hesitant to prescribe you any antibiotics. If this is the case, you may want to ask your obstetrician to create a short list of antibiotics that are considered safe for your stage of pregnancy. Your dentist can then select the proper regime of antibiotics from this list....

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These Three Oral Health Conditions Can All Be Treated With Botox

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In the world of oral health care, scientific advancements have dramatically changed the way conditions are diagnosed, treated, and prevented. Where losing all of the teeth was once a given, today it’s much less common. While you may have heard of the use of botox to alleviate fine lines and wrinkles in the skin, this substance is also showing promise in treating oral health care issues. Learn about the innovative ways dentists are offering their patients relief through botox right here. Temporomandibular Joint Diseases While this condition focuses on the jaw joint itself and the disc that rests between it, a periodontist or dentist is often the first line of treatment. For patients with this condition, the most common complaints are spasming, locking, and intense tension headaches. The reason this occurs relates to the fact that muscles tend to overcompensate for unstable joints–this is true anywhere in the body. In the case of TMJD, the muscles that run directly around and over the joint just happen to connect to the head, shoulder, and neck. Nerves also run in the same pattern. Botox injections can help to force the muscles to relax, relieving a permanent spasm. The chemical also has a side effect of loosening up tension to provide relief for headaches. Angular Cheilitis Angular cheilitis refers to a condition where the corners of the mouth become inflamed, cracked, and blistered. While this can occasionally happen in dry winter weather, those who suffer from AC experience it almost all the time. This difficult condition is caused by an overflow of saliva and can be very difficult to treat with traditional steroids and topical medications. When AC advances, it can even create marionette lines along the patient’s face. This creates an aged look regardless of actual age. Thankfully, botox is showing success in treating many of these patients. Its ability to fill out the skin and puff up surfaces can eradicate fine marionette lines. Functionally speaking, it can also be injected into the skin directly under the corners of the mouth–lifting them and helping to prevent salivary overflow in the first place. Most patients experience a reduction in both symptoms and irritation as long as occasional injections are maintained. Post-Implant Esthetic Failure One of the most common side effects of dental implants is the creation of unsightly black triangles in between each and every tooth. Called open gingival embrasures, it’s caused by damage or loss of the papilia along the gum line. In simpler terms, this refers to receding gums.  Black triangles aren’t just unsightly, either; each one is truly a small space between the teeth. That’s the perfect breeding ground for bacteria since food particles can become trapped easily. That means finding a solution is important to your overall dental health. Unfortunately, typical treatments leave much to be desired. Filling the triangles can work, but it’s very obvious and isn’t terribly esthetically pleasing. Removing the implants and trying again is another potential option, but this is heavily invasive, painful, and expensive. Instead, some dentists are trying botox to plump up the gum line itself. In the industry textbook, Principles and Practice of Esthetic Dentistry: Essentials of Esthetic Dentistry by Nairn Wilson, a second potentially helpful technique is laid out. It states that injections can also be made into the upper lip close to the...

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Surprising Ways That Tooth Loss Contributes To 3 Health Conditions

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Nobody wants to lose teeth. But for many dental patients, the main concerns that they have about losing teeth have to do with appearance and pain. You may not think it’s a big deal to lose a tooth or have a tooth extracted but not replaced when the tooth is in the back of your mouth, as long as there’s no pain, because nobody will be able to see it. The truth is, missing teeth can have a long-term impact on your overall health and well-being. Find out about a few of the health conditions that become more likely when you lose teeth, and why you should explore tooth-replacement procedures like dental implants even when the missing teeth are not immediately visible. Malnutrition When you eat, you do most of your chewing with the teeth in the back of your mouth. The fewer teeth you have, the harder it becomes to adequately chew your food. People who are missing teeth usually adapt to the loss by substituting soft foods for foods that are harder to chew, which limits your available food choices considerably. You may also chew food less thoroughly, which can be hard on your digestive system. You may not realize that your ability to chew food also affects how your food is digested and what nutrients your body is able to absorb from your food. When you can’t chew your food completely, you’re not going to be able to absorb all of the nutrients that you should be getting from your food. This can lead to malnutrition, even in patients who are making an effort to maintain a healthy diet. Your healthiest option, if you can’t save a tooth, is to replace the tooth with a dental implant so that you can get all the nutrition you need from your food. TMJ Disorder TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorder is a painful condition that manifests symptoms like headaches, unexplained ear aches, neck and shoulder pain, dizziness, and jaw pain. It is usually treated with pain medications, dental appliances, and a variety of dental work. Dentists aren’t sure what causes TMJ in every case, but they believe that missing teeth can be a factor in the development of the condition for some patients. When you have all your teeth, and they’re properly aligned, your bite is stable. Your teeth stay in the same place because of the other teeth around them. But when you lose a tooth and don’t replace it, the loss destabilizes your bite, making it more difficult and more damaging to your remaining teeth to bite and chew your food. Your teeth may begin to drift into the open space left by the missing tooth, and become misaligned. The misalignment leads to the joint problems experienced by TMJ sufferers. This can be prevented by simply replacing the lost tooth before any drift occurs. Rapid Aging Recent studies have shown a link between tooth loss and earlier physical and cognitive decline. The more teeth test subjects were missing, the worse they performed on various tests, with people who had none of their own teeth left performing 10% worse on both walking speed and memory tests. While the missing teeth might not be the direct cause of more rapid aging, they are an indicator for overall poor health that...

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