Losing even a single tooth can have a major impact on your health and appearance. Often the full consequence of losing a tooth isn’t realized immediately as these changes are subtle and occur over time. The good news is, with modern dental restoration, we can we can eliminate many of the negative effects of missing teeth, improving both health and appearance. Are you missing teeth? Learn how your missing teeth are impacting your life and then call our offices to learn about your options for dental restoration.
Loss of Dental Stability
Your teeth work together, supporting and helping to keep each other in place. When you lose a tooth, a hole opens up, allowing the surrounding teeth to shift and move positions. This can cause alignment issues and over time can affect how your teeth fit together and how you chew your food.
Chewing is essential for good dental health. Your teeth help to maintain the strength of the bone that supports them. Chewing forces help keep the bone strong and dense. If you lose a tooth, the supporting bone slowly begins to atrophy. This can make dental implants and other restoration options more difficult in the future.
If it has been a long time since you lost a tooth, your bone has likely degenerated significantly. Often bone grafting is needed for successful dental implants.
As the bone shrinks, so do the gum tissues. Your gums may become thinner and more delicate over the area where there is a missing tooth. Thinning gums are easily inflamed and injured by dentures and false teeth.
Changes to Facial Appearance
Missing teeth affect your appearance by more than just your smile. Bone and tooth loss can accelerate facial aging, changing the overall structure of your face. Changes to the appearance of the lips, chin, and nose are common after tooth loss. By some estimates, losing teeth can add up to 10 years to your appearance. Many patients don’t realize that these changes are caused by missing teeth and attribute them solely to aging.
Are your favorite foods difficult or impossible to enjoy? Many patients that use dentures or have missing teeth struggle to eat certain foods. Don’t let missing teeth make you miss out on your favorite foods.
Lack of Nutrition
Patients that eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains generally enjoy better health. Unfortunately, missing teeth can lead to missing nutrition. Lower intakes of fruits and vegetables are common in denture wearers, often because these foods are too difficult to eat.
Poor chewing performance can also lead to difficulty digesting. When foods aren’t chewed as thoroughly, nutrition may not be adequately absorbed by the body as the food travels through the digestive tract.
Changes in Speech
Your teeth affect your speech. Patients with missing teeth often notice changes to their speech including slurring of certain words, lisping, or spitting. Missing teeth can also cause the tongue to increase in size, further affecting speech difficulties.
Impact on Confidence
We want our patients to laugh, smile, and enjoy life with confidence. When you have missing teeth, you may be embarrassed of your smile. Missing teeth have a negative impact on both appearance and self-confidence.
Minimizing the Negative Effects of Missing Teeth- What Can You Do?
In a perfect world, no one would ever lose a permanent tooth, but of course, this isn’t reality. Teeth can be lost for a variety of reasons including trauma and decay. Losing a tooth is a serious problem, but it is treatable. Proper treatment can help to reduce the negative effects of missing teeth. If you’re missing one or more teeth, call our offices to learn more about your options for dental restoration.
- Dental Implants– Functioning much like a natural tooth, a dental implant consists of a titanium screw that is implanted into the jaw and a replacement crown that is attached to the implant. Dental implants can help maintain bone strength and density and tooth positioning after a missing tooth.
- All-On-4- For patients requiring full arch restoration, we offer All-On-4 dental implants. Four or more implants are placed into the jaw to support a full arch restoration. This can be a more affordable option for patients that require many dental implants. This isn’t the right fit for every patient.
- Bone and Gum Grafting- Bone and gum loss are common after losing a tooth, especially if it has been an extended amount of time. Bone and gum grafting can restore bone and gum appearance and density.
Losing a tooth can have a negative impact on your health and appearance, but dental restoration can eliminate many of the problems associated with tooth loss. Call us today and learn about your options for restoring your smile and your dental health.