A popular myth argues that George Washington wore wooden teeth, but it's more likely his dentures were metal or lead. And the odds are good one of your grandparents wore removable dentures. Prosthetic teeth have come a long way, particularly with the advent of dental implants. Implants look and feel like “real” teeth, and with proper care, can last a lifetime. But removing your teeth, funding dental implants, and preparing for surgery can all be nerve-wracking. If you're struggling with oral health issues, dental implants could be the solution you've sought. Your oral health is inextricably linked with the health of your entire body, so this innovative dental treatment could improve your overall health, too.
An Immediate Reduction in Oral Bacteria
The moment your dental implants are placed, your mouth undergoes profound changes. The bacteria that contributed to the decay of your old teeth will be dramatically reduced, producing a healthier mouth. This doesn't just mean better breath and a reduction in oral pain, though. Bacteria from your mouth can travel elsewhere in your body. A growing body of research suggests that the inflammation oral bacteria cause can lead to health problems as diverse as dementia, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
The Challenges of So-Called 'Soft Teeth'
In the popular imagination, people who need dental implants are irresponsible with their oral health, endlessly consuming candy and soda while simultaneously neglecting to brush and floss. While poor oral hygiene can certainly play a role, the picture is often more complicated than a simple case of bad oral care. Some people simply have weak teeth, bodies prone to infection, or chronically inflamed gums. Sometimes called “soft teeth,” this issue is unlikely to go away on its own. Even if you fill a cavity and keep flossing, the same problem may spring up again next month or next year. Dental implants eliminate the issue of unhealthy teeth, potentially ending a vicious cycle of oral health issues.
The Connection Between Oral and Overall Health
People who struggle with chronic gum disease are often the very people most likely to delay care. Shame, financial issues, and fear of pain all figure prominently in this delay of care. Dental implants can stop this cycle forever, ensuring good oral health in exchange for good oral hygiene.
Left untreated, though, oral health problems can claim your life, as in the tragic case of a 12-year-old who died when a tooth abscess spread to his brain. Bacteria from your mouth can spread throughout your body, causing infections, decreasing your ability to fight new infections, and slowly harming your organs. If you're tired of fighting a losing battle against decaying teeth, dental implants could end the struggle for good.