Whether your teeth are currently healthy or you are starting to experience declines in the health of your teeth and gums that may warrant dental implants in the future, it is never to early to consider bone health so implants are a realistic option. The following tips will help you keep your jaw bones healthy.
Kick The Habit
Although people talk about nicotine products in the context of their risk on overall health, there are specific risks related to your mouth. Using nicotine products not only increase the chances of developing gum disease, which contributes to or exacerbates tooth loss, but it also can cause damage to the bones. Since nicotine products are known to constrict the blood vessels, these products can reduce blood supply to healthy bones, thereby causing weakening. If you need dental implants but do not have sufficient healthy bone to support an implant, your only option might be dentures. In some cases, a dentist might try to do bone grafts, but these are not always successful, and if you continue to use nicotine products, attempting a bone graft may be a wasted effort.
Think About Nutrition
Your nutrient intake remains invaluable for building and maintaining healthy bones, especially as you age. There are certain groups, mainly women of European descent, that are at an increased risk of developing lower bone density or, in extreme cases, osteoporosis. No matter your sex, race, or age, taking a daily multivitamin is your best defense against weakening bones. Your body needs calcium, vitamin D, and trace minerals to have sufficient building blocks to prevent bone loss. Many of the same nutrients that help your bones also have effects on your teeth. When good oral care, regular dental visits, and adequate nutrition are combined, you reduce the risk of tooth loss.
Talk About Chronic Diseases
There are some chronic diseases and their treatment that can adversely affect your bone health. Conditions that contribute to ongoing inflammation, especially inflammatory processes that affect the musculoskeletal system, can degrade bone. Many medical conditions are treated with steroids intermittently or long-term. These medications are well-known for their ongoing risk of fractures and bone demineralization. Although using these medications may be unavoidable, you should talk with your doctor about mitigating your risk. If there are alternative therapies available to reduce your steroid use, they can be worth pursing. Additionally, your doctor might want you to have a bone density scan to determine if further treatment is necessary to treat or prevent bone loss. Addressing these concerns now can have positive effects on your overall health and also increase your odds of a successful dental implant later.
You cannot predict whether you will need or want a dental implant later. To give yourself the best chance at having implants, do what you can now to keep your jaw bones healthy so they can support an implant.