Your dental implants will dramatically improve your smile, and may even help you chew better. While the procedure usually goes off without a hitch, certain health conditions may affect the way your implants perform. Here are three health conditions that can affect your dental implants, and what you can do about them:
An autoimmune disorder known as Sjögren's syndrome can cause enlarged parotid glands, irritated eyes, and a dry mouth. This condition can cause your mouth to become so dry, that it may be difficult for your to chew and swallow.
Also, because Sjögren's syndrome can cause salivary gland dysfunction, your body may not produce enough saliva to effectively wash away oral bacteria. When the bacteria in your mouth accumulates, you may be at a heightened risk for developing an extreme form of gingivitis, known as periodontitis.
This not only has the potential to damage your gum tissue, but also the bones that support your teeth and dental implants. If you have an autoimmune disorder that causes a dry mouth, drink plenty of water and talk to your dentist about recommending a mouthwash that will help restore the moisture inside your mouth.
Certain hormones protect your gum tissue and the bones inside your mouth. One of the most important gum-protective hormones for women is estrogen. If you have low estrogen levels because of menopause of other health conditions, you may be at a greater risk for bleeding gums, sloughing gum tissue, and oral bone damage.
These three things can adversely affect the way your dental implants function, and may also predispose you to an infection where your implant anchors are located. If you have low estrogen levels, talk to your physician about hormone replacement therapy. It is important to note, however, that hormone replacement therapy that includes estrogen is not appropriate for everyone, including those with personal or family histories of gynecological malignancies, as these types of tumors are often fueled by estrogen.
If you have elevated blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia, as a result of diabetes or other medical conditions, you may be at risk for oral yeast infections and gum disease. Microorganisms thrive in areas of the body where sugar levels are high.
One of these areas is the mouth. If you have hyperglycemia, make sure you visit your dentist on a regular basis, who will check your teeth and gums and make sure that your implants are still in good condition. Also, see your physician regularly for routine blood sugar testing and further medical treatment that will help keep your blood sugar levels within normal limits.
If you have any of the above medical conditions, work with both your dentist and primary care physician to develop a treatment plan that will help maintain the health of your dental implants and surrounding structures, as well as your general state of health. Companies like Treasured Smiles Dentistry can offer more information.