If you are one of the 40 million Americans that has at least one missing tooth, it’s important that you know that it’s not just aesthetic challenges you face. Most dislike the way the mouth looks with missing teeth, but there may be other, larger health risks that come with not replacing your teeth.
1. Shifting Teeth
Each tooth works as a placeholder to keep the other teeth around it in place. Once a tooth is missing, the others can shift over time and misalign your bite. If you once had a straight smile, you may quickly notice that your teeth are out of alignment. When you lose teeth, it’s important to replace them quickly so the others don’t shift.
2. Oral Health Care
Caring for your gums and teeth are so important to your overall health. Once the teeth shift and move out of alignment, it can be harder to reach certain areas to floss or brush. If bacteria and plaque are left on the teeth, you may quickly develop periodontal disease. This can lead to more lost teeth over time.
If the upper and lower jaw don’t meet when you bite down, you may deal with problems with the temporomandibular joint in the jaw. As teeth shift out of alignment over a period, you may notice jaw pain, headaches, clicking noises and the inability to open your jaw all the way.
4. Bone Loss
The tooth’s root is secured in the jawbone and stimulates it to grow and regenerate bone. When the root is gone, the bone can crumble and die. Fortunately, dental implants are placed directly in the jaw, so bone loss is minimal when teeth are replaced quickly.
If you have missing teeth, it’s easy to feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in both your personal and professional life.
If you are interested in receiving dental implants, contact our office by Jackson, MS to schedule an appointment with our doctors, Drs. Kenneth and Jonathan Nash, by calling our new patient line at (601) 707-8020. We can work together to determine whether you are a good candidate for implants!
There is not a day that goes by without the production of saliva in our mouths. From helping us to swallow food to drooling in our sleep, we cannot escape it – and we don’t want to. Saliva is a biological part of our make-up. Saliva has many jobs; one being helping us to taste food. Saliva is made up of proteins, enzymes, mucin, and electrolytes. While saliva includes all of these items, the main percent of the make-up is water. Saliva never goes away, because we are constantly producing it. Salivary glands keep up the saliva production, and without saliva, we would not be as healthy. There are three main salivary glands, and they are located in the jaw, cheeks, and floor of the mouth.
The American Dental Association credits saliva as being important because it:
- Fights against cavities
- Washes away food debris
- Allows you to taste and swallow
- And keeps your teeth strong
All of the aforementioned keep us healthy and aid in our oral health. Without the production of saliva, our teeth would begin to decay and our breath would begin to smell badly. Saliva also helps to not speed up the production of bacteria. Bad bacteria in the mouth also causes serious problems such as tooth decay and gum diseases.
If you are under producing saliva, it is important to speak to your dentist. It is important to consult with your doctor. With underproduction of spit, you could be experiencing dry mouth, which can cause oral hygiene issues. Stress, medication, and smoking are some things that may cause try mouth. If you are experiencing dry mouth, try sipping on water, chewing gum and avoiding drinks with caffeine, as it dehydrates you.
While saliva can be gross or taboo to speak about, it is such an essential part of our lives. If you are feeling dehydrated and do not believe you are producing as much saliva as you should be, seek dental help.
It happens. Life throws a lot at us all at times and it can be hard to fit yet another appointment into our busy schedules. But if you want to get your dental health back on track before you develop serious issues, this is how often you should visit the dentist and these are the things you should be doing at home. And no, it’s not quite as simple as going once or twice a year.
How Often Should You Visit the Dentist for Routine Appointments?
It used to be so simple – you visit the dentist twice a year for checkups. But it turns out, that was too simple. Yes, everyone should visit the dentist at least once a year – twice a year is preferable in most cases and even more frequent visits are strongly recommended for individuals with on-going dental issues.
Individuals with early gum disease should probably visit the dentist at least twice a year, but more times may be needed to protect the progress and keep the problem from devolving into periodontitis. Those with advanced gum disease, periodontitis, will certainly need to see the dentist several times a year.
There are other high-risk groups who may need several dental appointments throughout the year to keep the need for preventive dentistry from turn into the need for restorative dentistry.
What to Do at Home
The effort you put into your oral health at home minimizes the effort your dentist in Vicksburg, MS and their staff will have to put into your oral health in the office.
Here are basic preventive dental practices you should be performing at home, every day:
- Brush twice a day for two to three minutes each time
- Floss at least once a day
- Rinse with an antiseptic oral cleanser, mouthwash, after brushing and flossing
These are long-term tips for strong dental hygiene at home:
- Replace your toothbrush, or brush head for electric brushes, every three or four months
- Visit your dentist annually and follow-up with more appointments if recommended
- Ask your dentist about preventive dental services offered and take advantage of them
Continue the Conversation with a Dentist in Vicksburg, MS
Don’t let the conversation end here. Schedule an appointment with a dentist in Vicksburg MS to get a better idea about the state of your oral health, what problems you might someday encounter and what you can do now to avoid those potential issues.