Dental technology enables us to address a wide variety of oral health circumstances that were previously unmanageable or were manageable with difficulty. For example, dentists are now able to use number of techniques and materials to assist them in preserving teeth that may have at one time been subject to extraction. With all this new technology, it might be easy to think that letting our oral health slide is not of significant consequence. There are many reasons, however, to care for your teeth and gums as a priority and to adopt a lifestyle that is conducive to the maintenance of excellent oral health.
1. Keep Your Natural Teeth for Life
It used to be so common for people to lose teeth as they aged that it became accepted as an inevitability by some. The truth is, looking after your oral health in order to maintain comfort and avoid the need for restorative work is the best approach. While dentures, root canals, and new technology such as titanium dental implants are widely available, they are not without compromise when compared to your natural teeth.
The cost associated with dental treatments as well as the potential discomfort associated with decay or other dental health concerns are not to be taken lightly. Taking care of your natural teeth and gums can drastically improve the likelihood of maintaining strong dental arches and jaw bone structure and improves the likelihood of keeping your natural teeth throughout your life. To some, the idea of dentures may seem like an easy answer to their oral health concerns, however, it is important to remember that artificial teeth, like any prosthetic, take time to adjust to and requires patience on the part of the host. Often, prosthetics such as plate dentures can make speaking clearly more difficult for the wearer, which can lead to social challenges. Nutritional challenges can occur if wearing the prosthetic causes pressure points in the mouth to become too painful. Keep your teeth happy and healthy throughout your life and enjoy the benefits that they offer in form and function for years to come!
2. Avoid the Downward Spiral
Since your teeth exist in a warm and moist environment, compromises to the tooth structure can take you down a path of chain reactions as far as oral health is concerned since bacteria thrive in this environment. For example, teeth that have been subject to decay are often weaker after being restored and can leave patients at risk for chips, cracks or other breaks of the tooth.
Decay or infections that impact the internal structure of a tooth often require endodontic therapy, such as root canal therapy, to restore comfort and allow the affected tooth to remain in place. Teeth that are subject to root canals are most often also subject to requiring a cap or crown in order to seal the tooth and ensure that it is strong enough to withstand the bite force demands associated with our diets.
3. Avoid Gum Problems
It is not just our teeth that are subject to problems caused by the environment inside of our mouths. The gums or gingival tissue inside of our mouths play a key role in making sure that our teeth remain stable and protected within the bony structure of our jaw. Compromises in gum health can lead to an excess of tartar accumulation as a result of increased plaque bacteria present in the mouth which becomes mineralized. More bacteria in the mouth means more opportunities for infection, irritation and recession.
Recession occurs as bacteria along the gum line causes the tissues to swell and pull away from the collars of the teeth. Left unattended, these bacteria can proliferate to such an extent that the root systems of the teeth become compromised and lose their stability along the arches. In extreme circumstances, surgery can be required to correct the damage done by these bacteria and to avoid bacterial infection spreading to the jaw bone, sinus cavity or blood.
4. Avoid Systemic Health Issues
Science and research are telling us new things about the relationship between our teeth and health the rest of our system. For example, it is now widely accepted that there is a correlation between gum disease and diabetes. Similarly, dentists offer consultation to pregnant clients to ensure the health of their teeth gums and bones throughout their pregnancy. In many cases, however, we don’t need fancy terms and research to tell us what we inherently understand: any ongoing infection in the body, be it in the teeth or other areas in the body, puts excessive demand on our immune system and leaves less energy to support other systems in the body. By taking good care of our teeth, we keep infection at bay and promote wellness on a holistic level.