3 Signs You Need Dental Implants
Dental implants are a replacement for a missing tooth, however they don’t just fill the gap in your smile. A dental implant can restore your quality of life by improving your oral health, keeping your smile aligned, making chewing and biting more comfortable, and can make you feel less self-conscious.
Dental implants are a stable tooth replacement option, but how do you know if you are a good candidate for one? Here are 3 signs you may need dental implants.
You have missing or broken teeth
Broken teeth are often left untreated, but this can lead to poor oral health and infections in the long term. Likewise, if you have missing teeth and never get them replaced, you can also be leaving yourself open to oral health problems later on in life.
Missing or broken teeth can lead to tooth sensitivity, and infection in the jawbone. It can also affect the gum tissue and make it hard to eat some foods you used to enjoy.
If you experience the following symptoms, you may have a broken tooth:
- Pain while chewing
- Sensitive teeth and gums
- Swollen glands in your neck and jaw
- Pain with very hot or very cold temperatures
Removing the tooth and getting a dental implant is a good option for cracked or missing teeth. Having all your teeth makes chewing and biting easier. It also reduces bone loss from occurring and helps to stabilize the teeth either side of the lost tooth.
How missing teeth cause jaw problems
Bone loss is not only bad for your jaw it can change the way your entire face looks. Teeth give the outward appearance of our face a lot of structure. When you lose a tooth the skin and muscle that cover it begin to sag and can make you look older than you are. In addition, a missing tooth can lead to shrinkage of the gums which puts you at a higher risk for gum disease.
You have an infection
Poor oral hygiene can lead to infections in the mouth. If not treated, or if they persist, the tooth may get to the point where it can’t be saved. In this situation, it may be better to have the tooth removed and replaced with a healthier option.
Tooth loss shouldn’t be treated as an inevitable part of aging. With good oral hygiene, regular checkups with your dentist, flossing and brushing twice a day, you can keep your real teeth well into old age.
There are some behaviours you might be doing right now, which can lead to damaging your teeth or are linked to poor oral hygiene habits.
Quit doing these things to improve the health of your teeth
- Using your teeth as tools. Don’t use your teeth to remove the caps off bottles or for cracking nuts, chewing pencils or cutting tags or thread.
- Clenching and grinding. Over time these behaviours can wear down on your teeth. Wearing a mouthguard when you sleep can help.
- Smoking contributes to poor blood circulation, which can weaken gums and lead to tooth loss.
- Poor nutrition. Soft foods can make your jaw weak. Start including raw, crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery into your diet to put your jaw and teeth to work.
- Not brushing or flossing. Periodontal disease can make you susceptible to tooth loss. Set a reminder on your phone if you forget to floss or brush in the evening.
- Not seeing a dentist regularly. Don’t just see your dentist when you’re in pain. Regular checkups can pick up problems with your mouth, teeth, and gums that you can’t see.
- Drinking sugary drinks. The sugars in fizzy drinks interact with bacteria in your mouth and form acid that eats away at your teeth. Swap the sugary drinks for water instead.
You have dentures that don’t fit correctly
Removable dentures can be a solution if you have more than one tooth missing. While they may feel like a quick fix, they require constant cleaning and don’t let you enjoy the same foods. Worse still, dentures that don’t fit properly can be painful. The discomfort of badly fitted dentures outweighs any upsides.
Dentures can shift around in your mouth and press on sensitive parts of your gums. A dental implant is securely inserted into your jawbone and won’t ever move. It functions just like a real tooth and doesn’t require any additional care, outside of brushing and flossing as you would with your real teeth.
Dental implants are a more permanent solution. Even though they may need to be replaced every 15 years, they require much less maintenance than dentures and won’t cause irritation.