Tooth loss is a common problem that affects over 35 million Americans. This staggering statistic has more dire consequences than you might realize. The loss or extraction of teeth without a plan for replacement causes the teeth to shift, which can affect the strength and functionality of the rest of your teeth.
People are living longer, and the need to have healthy teeth is more important than ever when it comes to caring for your overall health. Tooth loss is a problem in that it causes a chain reaction of declining health that leads to physical and even psychological issues. Before you opt for a simple extraction without a reconstruction plan in place, consider the consequences of tooth loss, and see what you can do to prevent it:
Effect #1: Loss of bone density
Your bone functions very similarly to muscle in your body. When a muscle in the body is exercised, it grows stronger, denser, and is able to serve you in many ways to improve your health. Bone, when exercised or stimulated, retains its strength and density as well. When you lose your teeth, the jawbone loses some of that strength and mass. You will eventually see weakness and deficiency in your jawbone that results in additional health problems. Your jaw may even atrophy, causing the appearance of sunken eyes and cheeks. If you must have your teeth removed, making plans to place an implant or a bridge in the mouth will help to stimulate bone tissue, strengthening the area and helping it maintain its proper form and function.
Effect #2: Shifting teeth
While your body is resilient in many ways, compensating for loss and dysfunction, one accommodation that is not particularly welcome is the ability of natural teeth to shift into place where a tooth has been lost or removed. Once a gap exists in your mouth for some time, your teeth will naturally shift to compensate for that space, and you will soon find problems with your tooth function and the way your teeth fit together. Soft tissues beneath and around teeth will also be compromised when gaps appear where teeth used to be. Your mouth and teeth were designed to work in a certain way, and they function best when everything is in its proper place.
Effect #3: Problems with chewing and speech
When teeth are missing or shifting into the wrong positions, it can cause problems with biting and chewing. Pain when eating causes some to make less than healthy food choices; making sure that you create a plan to restore missing or broken teeth is best when considering your long-term dental health. In addition, misalignment of teeth can create problems with speaking; increased pain and discomfort when trying to communicate with others can be a source of frustration for everyone involved.
Effect #4: Premature aging of the face, neck, and jawline
When teeth are missing or removed, a loss of bone can contribute to that sunken look around the mouth that adds years to your face. You appear older than you really are. As no one wants to experience premature aging, doing what you can to treat areas of weakness and prevent tooth loss is advisable.
Effect #5: Mental and emotional consequences
Studies on people with poor dental health have linked tooth loss to incidents of depression and anxiety. Not being able to share your most strong and beautiful smile can lower self-confidence and cause people to withdraw from others. The emotional stress that comes with not being able to portray your best self to others needs to be addressed; quite often, the only way to reduce this stress is through dental restoration.
Would you like your brightest and best smile? Give us a call!
Dr. Gordon E. Krueger, DDS, MS, PA, is passionate about dental health; he demonstrates his commitment to the health of every patient by creating customized plans that emphasize optimal dental health and restoration. If you have suffered some of the consequences of tooth loss and degeneration, he and his talented team of associates can help restore your beautiful smile and your confidence. Don’t wait any longer; contact us today to set up an appointment and return once more to dental health and wellness. Visit https://www.gordonekruegerdds.com for more information. A vibrant and beautiful smile will again be yours!