IS THERE A CONNECTION BETWEEN ORAL AND MENTAL HEALTH

Mental health is linked to oral health, and vice versa. Good oral health can enhance mental and overall health, while poor oral health can exacerbate mental issues. Likewise, mental conditions can cause oral health issues. The connection between them is direct, cyclical and, when oral health is neglected, detrimental.

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DIABETES AND YOUR TEETH

Diabetes may cause serious problems with keeping your mouth healthy and having an attractive smile. The disease causes difficulties in the mouth, and problems in the mouth may cause trouble with diabetes. With diabetes, glucose is present in the saliva. When diabetes is not controlled, increased glucose in the saliva allows harmful bacteria to grow.   Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is the most widespread chronic inflammatory condition worldwide, says Dr. Wayne Aldredge.

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SMART APPS FOR DENTAL HEALTH CARE

Oral health is often taken for granted. The mouth is a window into the health of the entire body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases – those that affect the entire body – may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.   Regardless of age, oral health is very important. Positive oral health leads to improved overall health. More Americans today are keeping their natural teeth throughout their lives.

….FULL ARTICLE

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Justice offers some recommendations to stave off having to make a decision about implants.


“Things like Vitamin D, calcium and magnesium can help,” she said.


A major infection or kind of immune issue could present complications to implant surgery. If you smoke or have diabetes, you need to be discuss these matters with your dentist before undergoing the procedure.


Patients who have implants are generally very pleased with the results.


“There’s such a high success rate for implants today,” Justice said. “The risk is much lower than even a few years ago.”

The decision about whether to invest in dental implants can be a big one. Given the low grade of dental care still rampant in many underdeveloped nations, it seems miraculous that in today’s world there is even such an option. Dr. Laura Justice of Justice Dental is no stranger to implants.


“Whether or not the patient needs implants depends on if you’re talking about the loss of a single tooth, which would be standard care, or many teeth,” she said. “It’s possible now to have people get implants with no teeth, which was unheard of years ago. We can give them what we call a locator denture, which uses a couple of implants to give the denture stability. We can do a fixed bridge, where they no longer have a piece they take out.”


How does a dentist determine if a person is eligible for implants?


“We’ve come a long way in our abilities with radiographic 3-D scans,” Justice said. “This tells us if there is good bone and if the bone can be grafted. Even with deficient bone, an implant can work today. If someone has a massive deficiency of bone, pieces can be taken from the hip, for instance, to create grafts.”


Implants are usually done as outpatient surgery. The surgery starts with the removal of the bad or damaged tooth. Bone grafting may or may

DENTAL IMPLANTS TAKE TIME

CHARLES SEBASTIAN

Charles Sebastian is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by charles sebastian

not be required. Often there is not enough bone in the jaw to take an implant or the bone may be too soft and porous to graft. When periodontal disease, the result of the bacteria, gets to a certain point and there is too much deterioration, there is simply no saving the original material.


“When the tooth decays away, there is nothing to strengthen or regrow,” Justice said.


After the grafting, the jawbone must have time to heal, after which a metal post is positioned in the mouth. Next an abutment is added to the post and finally the tooth is inserted. Months may pass between these steps, depending on how quickly the patient heals. Bone grafting will lengthen the process. Even in an excellent procedure, patients can still have bruising, swelling, pain and bleeding.


Osseointegration is the term used when the bone in the jaw grows and strengthens around the positioned post that becomes the foundation of the implant. Your dentist will likely provide you with an artificial tooth or cap to wear while osseointegration takes its course.