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Young Onset Dementia & Medications: Why Are Dental Implants Right For You?

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If you have young onset dementia and tooth loss, speak to your dentist about dental implants. Even if you establish a good oral care routine, antidepressants and other types of medications can reduce or limit the functions of your saliva glands. When your saliva glands can't produce the right amount of fluids, you may develop dry mouth syndrome and advanced gum disease. Your dentist can then replace your lost teeth with dental implants. Here's how your medications affect your oral health and why dental implants are right for you.

How Does Dry Mouth Affect You?

Although dry mouth is a common symptom of dementia and the medications used to control it, it can have damaging effects on your teeth and gums. When you develop dry mouth, you lose the protection of your saliva glands.

Saliva contains enzymes and other chemical agents that control the overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth. The water protecting the chemicals in your saliva moistens the surfaces of your gums, tongue, inner cheeks, and palates. If the tissues dry out, they develop weak spots that later turn into sores.

Sometimes, the sores open up and attract bacteria. You may refuse to brush your teeth because of the pain you experience from it. Plaque builds up along your gumline and behind each tooth. It's not long before you experience gum disease and tooth loss.

What Happens If You Don't Get Dental Implants Now?

If you don't replace your lost teeth with dental implants, you may not get a chance to do so later. The memory loss, depression, anger, and other symptoms you experience from your young onset dementia becomes worse as the disease progresses. When this happens, your loved ones may find it increasingly difficult to perform oral care on you, especially if gum disease and mouth sores make your mouth hurt and bleed. 

In addition, your jawbones shrink when you lose teeth, which means you'll need bone grafts to make them strong enough to support your dental implants. However, you may not understand or comprehend the treatments your dentist needs to do because of your deteriorating memory and health. 

Speak to your dental provider about your lost teeth and schedule an evaluation of your mouth for dental implant treatment before it's too late. You'll benefit from the treatment in a number of ways, including the ability to eat the foods you love without pain and less incidences of gum disease. Your implants also make it easier for your loved ones to perform oral care because your mouth is healthier. 

If you want to learn more about the benefits of dental implants or how dry mouth affects you contact resources like Olympia Dental and Implant Center for an appointment.