Dental implants are a permanent and attractive option for replacing missing teeth, but they aren't just a cosmetic improvement. There are several oral health issues that can arise for people who are missing teeth if implants aren't installed, even if other tooth replacement solutions like dentures are used. Here are three examples of oral health problems that can be prevented with dental implants.
1. Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
When you're missing teeth, it is much easier for bacteria to take hold in your mouth and promote tooth decay. Bacteria can build up on the surface of the gums in gaps where teeth used to be. This bacteria may be difficult to reach with normal brushing, and it can quickly begin to affect both the gums and the teeth adjacent to the gap.
Dental implants get rid of these gaps where bacteria can hide easily so that you aren't at greater risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Taking care of your dental implants is just like brushing and flossing natural teeth, so people with implants can simply maintain their normal dental hygiene routine to keep their mouth healthy.
2. Further Tooth Loss
The longer you go with one or more missing teeth, the more gum and jawbone tissue you are likely to lose at the sites where teeth are missing. The roots of your teeth stimulate the gum and jawbone to continually repair themselves, but this stimulation is lost when you lose a tooth.
Without stimulation, the body will gradually reabsorb the tissues around missing teeth. Eventually, this process can advance to the point that the structure of the mouth and face begins to suffer, and the teeth next to gaps in your mouth have less support to stay in place properly. Dental implants provide tissue stimulation to prevent resorption that could otherwise lead to further tooth loss.
3. Bite Misalignment
Just as tissue degradation can threaten other teeth, it can also change the shape of the jaws and gums enough to cause misalignment when you bite down. Bite misalignment can make chewing difficult or uncomfortable and may even affect your ability to speak properly. By stimulating tissues, dental implants help to keep your bite properly aligned so you can avoid these problems.
Getting dental implants now is the best way to ensure the health of your mouth for years to come. Keep these benefits of dental implants in mind and talk to your dentist to find out if they are the best option for you.