Tooth Loss And Its Grave Consequences
Millions of Americans are missing teeth as a result of accidents, bad dental hygiene or certain medical conditions. Having one or more missing teeth can have worse consequences than most people realize. Not only will having missing teeth impact your confidence and consequently also your social and professional life, but it can also negatively affect the health of your other teeth and even change the aesthetics of your face. Below are some of consequences that missing teeth can have.
Impact Your Eating
If you miss several teeth, eating will become more difficult, especially eating healthy fruits and vegetables. Often people who are missing several teeth start to develop nutritional deficiencies because they are eating a more monotone diet consisting of mainly foods that don't require too much chewing.
If missing teeth are not replaced, bone loss will result. After the loss of a tooth, the bone in the jaw that supported the tooth has no longer serves a purpose and will start to disappear. It's not usually obvious when bone loss occurs because it's not immediately visible from the outside, but if a missing tooth is not replaced, bone loss will eventually occur. Your gum tissue surrounding the missing tooth will also start decreasing. The longer a tooth is missing, the more bone and gum tissue will be lost. Missing teeth and bone loss can impact the functioning of your mouth and also harm your other teeth. Without support from teeth around them, remaining teeth can start to shift, which will make them more prone to get damaged.
Impacted Face structure
Eventually, if teeth are not replaced, bone loss can actually start to alter the physical appearance of your face. Cheeks and lips start to lose support when more and more bone is lost, which will eventually lead to sunken and collapsed cheeks and lips. This can have a dramatic effect on how your face looks, making you look a lot older than you are. If teeth are replaced in time however, bone loss can largely be prevented, as well as its consequences.
People who miss one or several teeth often are very self-conscious about this. Because they don't want people to see that they're missing teeth, they tend to avoid smiling when people are around. This can eventually have significant consequences on a person's quality of life. Studies show that people who don't smile often are less happy (when you smile, endorphins are released in your brain which make you feel happier), more easily stressed and more likely to suffer from mental health problems such as depression. Eventually, not smiling often can impact your personal life as well as your career, preventing you from achieving your fullest potential at work (smiling has been linked with better work performance and a higher chance of being promoted).
If you are missing teeth, you should talk to your dentist about your options for having them replaced. Dental implants are in most cases the best tooth replacement option. They look and function just like real teeth, last for at least 20-30 years and will help prevent bone loss because they are actually implanted into your jaw bone.