By: Ashley Walker
Believe it or not there are a lot of things besides neglect that can dim your bright smile. From gingivitis to extreme dental phobias, many varying diseases have caused individuals to cover their mouths in shame. Here are a few diseases we've found some of our patients suffer with that caused them to seek dental implants as treatment.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines that targets the colon and ileum. From nausea and fatigue to stomach pain and diarrhea, Crohn’s disease can infect the gastrointestinal tract anywhere from the mouth to the anus.
When diagnosed with Crohn’s and enduring a surgery, many patients suffer difficulties with their body absorbing nutrients. Patients also complain of gum inflammation, cavities, mouth sores, and dryness of the mouth.
Cancer is a disease in which cells begin to rapidly develop out of control in one’s body. Different forms of cancer may include but are not limited to bladder, lung, brain, breast, cervical, and ovarian. Individuals who suffer from any form of cancer and are prescribed medication and or radiation therapy may experience different side effects that damage their mouth and teeth. Patients have complained about dry mouth, changes in taste, mouth sores, tooth decay, difficulty chewing, stiffness in the jaw, and infection.
Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia can drastically affect the condition of your teeth. Anorexia typically involves the lack of eating because of the fear of weight gain, whereas bulimia is discrete periods of binge eating with latter fear of weight gain that results in self-shaming, guilt, and self-induced vomiting. Both eating disorders may result in nutrient deficiencies, frequent vomiting, brittle teeth, and swollen salivary glands that result in tooth loss.
Gingivitis eventually causes the gums and bone that support the teeth to become infected and damaged. Your gums are bleeding but nothing hurts...when is it time to act?
The key to understanding the difference between "a bit of gingivitis" and irreversible periodontitis is to understand what happens when bacteria becomes trapped between the gums and the teeth. When we fail clean away the bacterium that sticks to our teeth, the bacteria turns into plaque which is harder to remove. When plaque touches the ridges of the gums, the gums become irritated and pull back away from the tooth. The tissue becomes loose and more fragile, often bleeding during eating, flossing, and brushing. This stage is "a bit of gingivitis" and the problem can be corrected by getting back into regular dental check-ups and a stronger oral hygiene routine.
If left alone, the plaque will slide down further and create a pocket inside the gum. The gums will go through an inflammation process that closes the top of the pocket and traps the plaque inside. At this point the harmful bacteria cannot be cleaned out with a toothbrush or floss and the condition has developed into periodontitis. Visits to the dentist are absolutely necessary to have the pocket(s) cleaned out with a small dental tool.
So how can you tell if you can resolve your gingivitis on your own or if you need help from a professional? Try flossing twice daily and brushing three times daily for two weeks at any sign of gingivitis including the taste or sight of blood after brushing. Untreated gingivitis will turn into irreversible periodontal disease if left untreated. You can never completely get rid of all the bacteria in your mouth but brushing and flossing make sure the number of bacteria you do have is in a safe range.
Phobia of the dentist can keep people from seeking the proper treatment for their teeth. Against popular belief, between 5% to 8% of individuals may suffer from dentophobia. Many individuals relate their fear of dentists from horrific stories, bad experiences, or pure inexperience. Lack of dental treatment can lead to cavities, brittle teeth, gingivitis, root canals, and tooth loss.
Patients who suffer from Crohn’s disease, cancer, dentophobia, or eating disorders, may find that dental implants are a great solution. Regardless if you need one tooth or a full mouth replacement, with dental implants you can regain confidence in your smile. Oral surgeons look at your teeth, gums, and bone through a CT scan to determine your unique treatment option. Though the disease may have caused serious cavity damage, chipped or fragile teeth, and weakened the bone, oral surgeons can completely recreate your teeth with dental implants and bone grafting. This will not only help maintain a natural looking smile, but it will prevent the mouth from collapsing.
A few of our patients decided to share their experiences in hopes that other people with similar feelings will get the implants they need and deserve. Click the images to hear their stories.
Meet Deb: Deb came to us with her teeth severely damaged due to Crohn’s disease. She was wary about coming to the dentist because of the pain she associated with it in her mind. It is now one year post All-on-4™ procedure and Deb could not be happier about coming to Eon Clinics.
Meet Michael: Michael is a tonsil cancer survivor. Chemotherapy and radiation destroyed his teeth. He made the decision to replace his teeth with Eon Clinics.
Meet Myrna:Not only has she suffered through a lifelong series of dental problems but she also had an extreme fear of the dentist. Myrna decided to solve the problem once and for all and knew it was time to get dental implants after she met with the staff at Eon Clinics.