The Link Between Chronic Health Conditions and Tooth Loss

For patients who have missing teeth, dentists often recommend bridges, dentures, or dental implants to restore their smile and dental function. However, keeping your natural teeth is ideal, and your overall health can affect that of your mouth. Read on to learn about the link between some chronic health conditions and tooth loss.

Diabetes
Do you have diabetes? If so, then you are at greater risk of developing periodontal disease. Also called gum disease, periodontal disease refers to an infection of the bone and gums that support teeth and hold them in place. As gum disease progressively worsens, it can damage bone and cause the gums to pull away from the teeth and recede. This process can cause teeth to loosen and even fall out. Also, periodontal disease is associated with a greater risk of tooth decay, a problem which can also lead to tooth loss.

Bruxism
While asleep, some individuals clench and grind their teeth together. This condition is called bruxism and, when not managed, it can put excess force on the tissues responsible for holding your teeth in place. Over time, this process can lead to bone loss in the jaw. When teeth lack enough support from the jawbone, they can loosen and fall out.

Hypertension
Studies indicate that plaque buildup in the mouth can eventually cause the plaque to enter blood vessels and build up in arteries, thereby increasing the person’s risk of heart disease. While research indicates that poor oral hygiene may result in high blood pressure, the reverse might also be a concern. Many medications that doctors prescribe to treat hypertension can cause dry mouth and lead to higher amounts of bacteria in the mouth. The presence of more bacteria puts the individual at a greater risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.

Has it been a while since your last dental checkup? If so, then give University Associates in Dentistry a call at (312) 704-5511. Our dentists in Chicago offer a wide range of services to care for your dental health and help you maintain your smile.

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