From tooth decay to gum disease, impacted wisdom teeth to tooth loss, dental problems tend to be visible and painful. What isn’t always so noticeable is the connection between poor dental health and health problems that occur elsewhere in the body. There are health risks of dental decay and dangers to gaps in your smile that go beyond the impact on your looks and self-confidence. The health risks of dental decay are numerous.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in Australia, with research revealing untreated occurrence in as many as one in three Australians over the age of 15. Gum disease is also extremely common and becomes more likely with age, with 61% of Australians over 75 having moderate to severe periodontitis. Periodontitis is a severe gum infection that can lead to tooth loss, bone loss and other serious health complications.
Fortunately, both conditions are largely preventable. You can take care of your oral health with steps such as brushing twice a day, daily flossing, using antiseptic mouthwash and booking a dental check-up twice a year. Although, if significant dental damage has already occurred, it may be time to find the right dental treatment.
So what are the most common health problems caused by bad teeth, and what can you do to prevent them? Here’s a brief guide to the health risks of dental decay and gum disease, the measures you can take to prevent them and the treatment options out there.
The Connection Between Poor Dental and Overall Health
Your dental health and your overall health are strongly connected and have a reciprocal relationship. Not only can your dental health provide clues to your overall health, but problems in the mouth can also turn into problems in the body if left untreated.
The health risks of dental decay stem from the fact that your mouth is the entrance to your digestive and respiratory systems. It’s also a breeding ground for bacteria. While daily brushing and flossing usually keep bacteria under control, neglecting your oral health can cause bacteria to build up under the gum and between the teeth and make their way into your bloodstream instead. Some conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, smoking, and diabetes, can lead to more aggressive gum disease that progresses much quicker, creating a vicious cycle.
Missing teeth also exacerbate the risks of health conditions as they can leave large open pockets in the gums that give bacteria a chance to access the rest of the body. If you lose a tooth and don’t replace it, these conditions can come on quickly.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent the health risks of dental decay and restorative dental treatments out there for serious damage.
Conditions Linked to Poor Dental Health
There are several health risks of dental decay, and many are more common than the average person may expect. The health problems caused by bad teeth include
When bacteria attach themselves to areas of the heart, such as the inner lining and valves, it can lead to urgent and life-threatening inflammation.
Plaque in your mouth can cause plaque to build up in your blood vessels and arteries. People with gum disease have two to three times the risk of having a heart attack or stroke compared to the rest of the population.
Periodontal disease can weaken the body’s ability to process sugars and use insulin. People with diabetes are also more likely to develop gum disease.
Studies have shown that people with gum disease are more likely to develop certain cancers, especially esophageal and stomach cancer.
Studies have shown that in people in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease, their condition tends to worsen if they have gum disease.
Bacteria that get into your bloodstream from gum disease can even affect the health of your unborn baby.
Prevention is better than cure, and the health risks of dental decay are worth taking your time to prevent. But what are your options if all or most of your teeth are already missing or badly damaged?
Dental restoration is a type of treatment that focuses on replacing or repairing decayed, damaged or missing teeth. The most common forms of dental restoration include:
Just about everybody is familiar with this very common dental treatment. A filling is a tooth-coloured piece of composite material designed to fill your cavity. If the damage is in its early stages, fillings can stop the health risks of dental decay before they become a serious problem.
A crown is a covering that goes over a cracked, broken or badly decayed tooth and improves its appearance. It protects and strengthens the remaining tooth and root structure, providing a long-lasting result.
This deeply involved procedure is necessary when a cavity or crack in your tooth runs deep enough to reach the pulp in the centre. It involves removing the infected pulp (nerve) from inside the tooth and replacing it with a medicated dental material. In most cases, a crown is required after root canal surgery to provide additional support for the tooth.
At Next Smile Australia, our focus is on the All-on-4® procedure, an advanced method of dental restoration.
All-on-4® is very similar to traditional singular dental implants, except for some important differences. While traditional singular dental implants involve a series of titanium screws inserted into the jawbone with a crown attached to each one, All-on-4® supports an entire bridge or arch of new teeth with just four implants: two at the front and two at the back on one jawbone.
Pioneered by Dr Paulo Malo in 1998, the treatment has a number of advantages. It provides patients with a brand new smile in 24 hours, with no dental bone grafting required and without the multiple appointments and long recovery period that often accompanies traditional dental implants. It also has a 98% success rate, with hundreds of thousands of successful cases.
Next Smile Australia uses ‘The Malo Protocol’, Dr Malo’s own two-bridge treatment process with a proven track record of success. During stage one of the process, you’ll receive your first set of teeth, a “provisional bridge”, which is worn for three to six months. Once your jawbone has had time to integrate your new implants, you’ll be ready for the fitting of your final teeth.
All-on-4® will give you a new smile that you can be proud of and keep health problems caused by bad teeth at bay.
Book a Consultation with Next Smile Australia
If you believe All-on-4® may be the right kind of treatment for you, book a consultation with Next Smile Australia. We’ll restore your smile and help keep health problems caused by bad teeth.
The Next Smile Australia team is guided by a set of values that place our patients at the centre of everything we do, including empathy, excellence, dedication and honesty. Your comfort and care remain among our highest priorities throughout your treatment.
We carry out All-on-4® dental implant surgery at our industry-leading Super Clinics around the country. Staffed by experienced dental surgeons, anaesthetists and support staff, these Super Clinics offer medically-regulated, hospital-grade care during every stage of the process.
Your implant surgery is carried out in our state-of-the-art surgical rooms, while your new teeth are manufactured in our in-house dental laboratories. Onsite equipment for X-rays and CBCT scans means we can take accurate images of your jawbone to work from as we construct a personalised solution for your new set of teeth.
For more information or to book a personal consultation, contact Next Smile Australia.