Did you know there are over 120 million people in the United States alone missing at least one tooth? Of those, over 36 million do not have any teeth, which may leave you asking, how?
There are a variety of reasons why you may experience tooth loss, from genetics to lifestyle choices. Common reasons include the following:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Poor oral health
- Dental injury or trauma
- Certain diseases or cancer
- Wear and age
No matter the cause of the tooth loss, even just one missing tooth can lead to a host of oral concerns that impact the integrity of your smile. Here is why not replacing even just one missing tooth is bad for your health.
What happens when you lose a tooth
When you lose a tooth, your jaw bone loses stimulation in that area as you bite, chew, and use your teeth. This stimulation is necessary for telling your body that it needs to have adequate levels of bone to support your teeth, as the jaw bone is the foundation of your smile. Over time, the lack of stimulation leads to what is referred to as bone recession.
With bone recession, the jaw bone gradually disappears over time. Think about when you are in the garden and you need to dig a hole for a new plant. As you dig the hole the dirt on the side begin to fall in because it no longer has the support is had before to stay in place. While your jaw bone will not crumble and fall into the place where you are missing a tooth, it loses its support and begins to weaken.
As your jaw bone weakens, surrounding teeth will begin to shift. This shift can cause crooked teeth, gaps, and uneven spacing that negatively affects the aesthetics of your smile. Even worse, as the jaw bone continues to recede, you could experience even further tooth loss. Signs that your smile’s health and integrity are at risk of further harm include moving and loose teeth.
Missing teeth and your smile’s health
As your smile experiences tooth loss, it can become more and more difficult to properly care for your teeth. This may lead to oral health concerns where there are pockets that enable bacteria to fester that cannot be easily cleaned. When harmful bacteria are left to do as they will, they can wreak havoc on your smile’s health, leading to decay, disease and gum recession.
Just like the jaw bone, your gums are an important part of the foundation of your teeth, so as the gum recedes, your teeth are once again put at risk of tooth loss.
Missing teeth and your health
Aside from the missing tooth itself, all these complications can lead to lower levels of self-esteem and have an impact on your mental and emotional health. Your smile is a large part of your identity and how you present yourself to the world, and when you are going through the struggles of tooth loss it can be hard to want to share that smile with others.
If you are feeling self-conscious, the team here at Dental Art of South Bay wants you to know that there are solutions to help you get your smile and confidence back.
Tooth replacement solutions
Dental implants are the replacement solution of choice for Dr. Dana Samet. This long-lasting, durable, and reliable tooth replacement solution can be used to replace anywhere from one missing tooth to an entire mouth of missing teeth.
Dental implants are ideal for anyone looking to restore natural look, feel, and function to their smile. If you are ready to smile confidently again, schedule a consultation with Dr. Samet to discuss whether dental implants are right for you.