How Missing Teeth Can Affect Your Oral and Overall Health
Author: Grace Clark
Missing teeth are bad for health — this is old news. It causes numerous oral, health and mental issues, which is why it is important to treat missing teeth as soon as you can.
Some probable causes of tooth loss are gum disease, injury and tooth decay. It can be a congenital issue as some people can be born without certain teeth.
How can missing teeth affect your health? Here Are 6 Ways…
- Excessive Tooth Wear
The pressure of chewing food is evenly distributed amongst all the teeth but if some teeth are missing, it puts additional pressure on other teeth as the pressure won’t be evenly distributed anymore. This will lead to excessive tooth wear and cause chips and cracks in teeth.
- Oral Hygiene Gets Harder
One of the many consequences of missing teeth is bad oral hygiene. Here are 4 ways how:
- The extra space between the adjacent teeth will trap more food particles and it can get challenging to reach such nooks of the teeth to get out the trapped particles with a regular toothbrush. Even flossing may get difficult. This will lead to accumulation of bacteria, increased risk of gum disease, the buildup of plaque and acceleration of tooth decay.
- Missing teeth will also reset the bite which will affect the way you eat food.
- The adjacent teeth to the missing teeth may shift in place which will create complications for the dental health.
- Jawbone loss may also occur around the missing tooth. When there is no constant pressure or friction against the jawbone, the bone will atrophy resulting in a weak jaw and a sunken appearance.
- Bone Loss in the Jaw
Missing teeth would disrupt the interaction between bone and teeth. If one tooth falls out, then the gum and bone no longer have to support a tooth. This results in them being unstimulated, the jawbone will begin to shrink and the gums start to recede. Eventually, this will weaken the structural components of the neighboring teeth until they collapse.
- Difficulty in Chewing
One of the missing teeth problems includes poor digestive health. When you have some missing teeth, it will affect the way you chew. If the food isn’t chewed properly and thoroughly, then the body will be deprived of key nutrients. People with missing teeth would also avoid certain healthy foods that would be difficult to chew, such as some vegetables and fruits.
- Effects on Mental Health and Appearance
Missing teeth may affect the aesthetic appearance of a person. When the jawbone deteriorates due to the missing teeth, there can be a collapsed facial appearance and excessive wrinkles. Missing teeth can greatly affect the mental health of the person, causes them social embarrassment and they may even suffer from depression.
- Trouble in Speaking
Missing teeth may cause slurring of certain words, depending on which part of the mouth has larger gaps. The front teeth and the way the tongue moves in that space helps in forming words correctly. If the teeth are missing, it will undoubtedly affect the way words are formed and pronounced. Speaking with missing teeth may also cause spitting while talking or cause a lisp.
Popular Options to Replace Missing Teeth
General dentistry offers some options to replace missing teeth. Three common options include:
- Dental Implants
These are artificial pillars that are planted in your jaw through surgery. The purpose of dental implants is to keep the replacement teeth fixed into their intended positions. They are generally composed of titanium along with other materials that are accepted by the human body.
- Dental Bridges
These are created to reduce the size of the teeth on each side of the gap and make it easier to fill the gap with a new crown. The new crown will then be suspended between the two teeth and together the crown and two teeth can make a dental bridge.
- Partial Dentures
They are removable dentures that replace one or many missing teeth. It may need metal clasps to help it stay in the mouth. If you or your loved one is suffering from missing teeth or malocclusion of teeth, it is time to look for the best family dentist near you and seek their consultation about the treatment methods.
Author’s Bio: A dental marketer at Michael G. Long DDS, Fresno, CA and a believer in holistic health, Grace lives by the rule that health and happiness go hand in hand. She writes on various dental topics focusing on healthy living and holistic health.
When she’s not working or blogging, she enjoys spending her time with her family and volunteering at the local youth centers where she educates children about the importance of health and fitness.