When you first entered menopause, a number of things probably ran through your head, including how to get through your hot flashes and mood swings unscathed. The one thing you might not have thought about is periodontal disease until it was too late. If you currently have gum disease and lost teeth due to your oral condition, see your dentist about dental implants. Your dentist offers tooth replacements, such as dental implants, to improve your oral health. Here's the connection between menopause, high blood pressure and gum disease, as well as how dental implants help improve your oral health.
What's the Connection Between Your Blood Vessels, Menopause and Gum Disease?
Menopause affects many tissues in your body, including your blood vessels and heart. Your heart depends on healthy blood vessels to circulate and receive blood throughout your entire body. But as your estrogen hormone levels slow down, the blood circulating through your blood increases.
The increase in speed places a great deal of stress on your blood vessels and heart, which can give you high blood pressure over time. High blood pressure is one of the causes of gum disease, especially in menopausal women.
Tiny blood vessels lie hidden inside your gums. Because these tissues are so small and fragile, they're more susceptible to damage than the larger blood vessels in your body. If blood forces its way through the blood vessels in your gums, they can become swollen and collapse.
Damaged blood vessels can't circulate blood to your gum tissues properly. Without the necessary blood supplies they need, your gums and other mouth tissues become weak and easily infected with bacteria. This is how your gum disease began — and why you lost teeth.
Why Do You Lose Teeth?
Each tooth attaches to your jawbones with ligaments and roots. Ligaments are stretchable bands of tissues that connect one hard structure to another. In this case, they attach your teeth roots to your jawbones.
Like many other soft tissues, ligaments need blood vessels to stay healthy. They also depend on your gums to keep them upright, but loose gum tissue can't provide this necessary function. As a result, your teeth fall out by themselves, or they wobble around in their tooth sockets.
Eventually, your jawbones suffer from the poor blood circulation and bacterial infection in your gums and teeth ligaments. Jawbone tissues only regenerate or grow properly when they have teeth inside them.
Additionally, menopause places you at risk for osteoporosis or weak bone tissue. Osteoporosis weakens the bone tissue in your jaws substantially. You can lose volume, shape and strength in your jaws, cheekbones and eye sockets during menopause when you lose teeth, develop poor jawbone tissue, and experience gum disease.
Dental implants can restore the health of your gums and jawbones, even with menopause.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
Once your dentist treats your gum disease with antibacterial medications and strengthens your jawbones with bone grafts, he or she schedules you for dental implant surgery. Dental implants are some of the most technologically advanced dental restorations today. They feature tiny titanium posts made to look and function just like real teeth roots.
Dental implant posts fit comfortably inside the sockets of your lost teeth. After the placement, the implants take about a week or two before they begin bonding with the bone cells and blood vessels of your jaws and gum tissues. You might feel some discomfort during this bonding time but it's usually temporary.
To help speed up your bonding time, the dentist may prescribe bone-building minerals, such as vitamin D, as supplements to help rebuild your jawbones. Vitamin D also strengthens your blood vessels by helping them circulate blood to your gums and jaws better.
The nutrient also reduces your high blood pressure and cuts down your risk for gum disease-related heart disease. Menopausal women are susceptible to heart disease because of their risk for gum disease and high blood pressure.
Once your dental implants heal and your other health issues are addressed, your dentist will cover the implants with porcelain crowns. Your mouth is fully restored back to a healthier state.
If you need to know more about menopause, gum disease and high blood pressure, contact a dentist, such as Dale D. Lentz DDS, for an appointment. The faster you get your dental implants placed, the better off you may feel overall.