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Dental implants are placed for many reasons, such as to replace one or more missing teeth, to resolve joint pain or bite problems, to restore facial tissues and to support a bridge or denture.

At Dentalways in Little Rock and North Little Rock our goal is to improve not just your dental health, but your overall health and wellness, too. In addition to the aesthetic and practical function of having all your teeth, the benefits of dental implants far outreach just an oral standpoint. They impact your overall health in dramatic and critical ways.

Your mouth is a mirror, reflecting your health

Missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures can cause one to have reduced chewing capacity, which can lead to digestive health problems. Your mouth is like a mirror to your health; any disease related to your mouth has an impact throughout your body.

The connection between periodontal disease and heart disease is well documented and researched, specifically in medical literature. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, studies show people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease. Studies also indicate people with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease, especially if their diabetes is not well controlled.

For expectant mothers, keeping teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy may help protect the health of their unborn baby. Because of hormonal changes, just being pregnant increases the risk for gum disease, and numerous studies have indicated gum disease increases the risk for low birth weight and preterm labor.

Tooth loss and its effect on your digestion

Chances are when you think about digestion, you think about your stomach and your intestines. And while they obviously are significant in the digestive role, your overall digestive system actually begins in your mouth. Human teeth play a critical and important role in preparing the food to enter the stomach, launching the integral part of the digestive process. When you have all your teeth or a full set of well performing teeth, they are designed and shaped perfectly to launch the digestive process.

Your teeth work with the salivary glands to process food and aid in swallowing. Your tongue pushes food against the teeth, releasing saliva from glands in the floor and walls of your mouth as you chew. Saliva eases chewing and swallowing and it also contains enzymes that instigate the digestive process while food is still in the mouth. Eventually it's swallowed, once the teeth have turned it into a moist, soft mass.

When you have missing teeth, it can prevent proper chewing and the necessary breakdown of foods, slowing down your digestion. Partially chewed food, due to pain or missing teeth, can result in partial digestion of food and result in inadequate absorption of nutrients by your body. If you suffer pain from unhealthy or missing teeth, it can lead to you avoiding certain foods, such as nutritious fruits and vegetables. The loss of nutrients can include those used to build and maintain healthy teeth and gums, which can result in more oral health problems.

Premature aging from bone loss

Many people aren't aware of the consequences of losing their teeth. When your teeth are lost, the supporting bone immediately begins to shrink. Missing even a couple of teeth can cause premature aging. Generally as we get older, we lose facial height characterized by our lower face collapsing. When you have teeth missing, it accelerates the facial changes, causing premature sagging, drooping and creases and lines appear between the nose and lips, making us appear older than we are.

At Dentalways we have solutions to help reverse this aging process by increasing what is called your vertical dimension of occlusion back to a time when you were much younger. Vertical dimension of occlusion is the distance (height) between your upper and lower jaws. This typically collapses with age due to natural wearing of the teeth and/or tooth loss and it reduces the distance between your nose and your chin causing you to look older and increases lines and wrinkles.

Your health could be at risk

When your teeth are chipped or broken, it provides an ideal growing environment for bacteria to form. If you wear dentures, they can slip and cause sore spots on your gums. Additionally, denture wearers need to be aware that plaque can build up, irritating the underlying tissue, which causes the gums to recede. Because the shape of your mouth continually changes, dentures also need to be checked regularly for fit.

In either case, when you have gum recession or bone loss, significant health problems can arise. Dr. Khullar can explain the gum recession and bone loss in great detail at your next appointment. When your bones begin to shrink and the gums recede, you are at risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease, which can have serious and in some cases, life-threatening consequences to your health. The infection in your gums from periodontal disease can spread to other parts of your body. This can potentially cause or contribute to:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Reduced effectiveness of insulin for diabetics
  • Lowered birth weight in babies
  • Respiratory problems
  • Osteoporosis


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