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Missing Teeth May Cause Health Problems

People can lose their teeth to gum disease, tooth decay, and injury. Research shows that 3 out of 4 Americans may have gum disease. Gum disease and tooth decay can be prevented and treated, if you visit your dentist for regular examination and cleaning. While losing teeth at childhood is normal, losing your permanent teeth can affect not only your oral health but also your general health. Here is a list of things that could happen if you lose some of your teeth.

Difficulty in Chewing

Your teeth work as a team and every tooth has a specific role. Just like in football and volleyball, losing one or more team members can cause the team to become weak and unable to perform properly. Missing front teeth makes it harder for you to bite while missing the back teeth affect the way you chew your food. A missing tooth can make it more difficult to enjoy favorite foods such as apples, carrots, and other crunchy food. Failure to eat these healthy foods can affect your general health because you aren’t getting necessary nutrients.

Shifting Teeth

After losing a tooth, the remaining teeth try to make up the space left behind by drifting toward the vacated space. This shifting is known as malocclusion. As the teeth shift, they may begin to rotate and can put a lot of strain on the jaw joints resulting in pain.

Speech Issues

After losing one or more of your teeth, you may not be able to speak as clearly as you used to. The space left behind by the tooth affects how you pronounce certain words. A missing tooth can completely change your speech patterns.

Bone Loss

This is a hidden consequence of losing your teeth. Just like other body cells, bone has a life cycle. New cells form, live and dissolve. The older cells are then replaced by new cells. The formation of new cells is stimulated by the force that is generated when chewing, the force travels to the jaw through the root of the tooth. A missing tooth means there is no new cell formation since stimulation is no longer occurring. In the first year with a missing tooth, the jaw bone can reduce up to 25% in width. The bone loss makes the remaining teeth weak.

Early Aging

Teeth are responsible for supporting the skin around the mouth. Losing your teeth not only affects your smile but also can make the skin around your mouth sag. The sagging skin makes you appear older than you are.

Loss of Confidence

This is an emotional consequence of losing a tooth. You may not feel confident enough to smile in front of people when you have a missing tooth. You might be extremely self-conscious about your smile, especially if you have missing front teeth.

Losing your teeth is not the end of the world. Luckily, modern dentistry has excellent techniques for replacing the missing teeth. They are all aimed at preventing the above disappointing consequences of losing teeth. The best technique for you depends on your dental needs. Here are the common solutions to missing teeth.

Dental Implants

Also known as a fixture or an endosseous implant. It is a great solution if you only have one or two missing teeth. A titanium socket is implanted then a titanium post is placed into the socket. After the socket and post are implanted, your dentist will place the tooth onto the post. Dental implants are natural looking and long lasting. Dental implants not only restore your natural look but also stops bone loss.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are meant to bridge the gap created by missing teeth. A bridge is attached to the healthy teeth that are adjacent to the missing teeth. The bridge is made up one or more crowns depending on the number of missing teeth. A dental bridge isn’t attached to the jaw. This can help restore your natural smile.

Dentures

Dentures can be removed for cleaning and put back in the mouth. There are three types of dentures: partial, conventional full and immediate full. A partial denture is ideal for someone who is missing a few teeth. The conventional full denture is one option if you have all your lower or upper teeth removed. The conventional denture is placed in your mouth approximately 8 to 12 weeks after your teeth have all been pulled. The immediate full denture is installed on the same day that the rest of your teeth have been pulled. After using dentures for a while, they begin to feel like your natural teeth. Dentures not only restore your smile but also help you chew food and speak more clearly.

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