After having to take care of your teeth and visit the dentist for years, you may think fewer teeth equals fewer problems. However, tooth loss can cause significant health issues for you and should not be brushed off.
Read on to learn about the various health effects of tooth loss.
Loss of functionality.
Your diet can change due to your teeth and having gaps in your smile can limit the foods you’re able to eat. Foods you used to love like steak and hard fruits may be off the table, and your diet can become restrictive. Your way of speaking may also change, with slurring being a common side effect, making communication more difficult.
All these changes are limiting and affect the way you feel about yourself on a day-to-day basis. Dental implants can restore your functionality and keep you living the life you want to.
Increased risk of oral infection.
Losing a tooth leaves your mouth more vulnerable to infection. Periodontal disease is more likely to form around an open gap in the mouth and can spread to surrounding teeth and gums.
Treating tooth loss with implants before this happens can protect more of your natural teeth and prevent the need for extensive dental work, saving you money.
Weakening of the jawbone.
When you chew and speak, your jaw receives signals from your tooth roots. The force of these daily actions transmits to the bone that holds your tooth in place, making your jaw stronger by straining and repairing it.
If a tooth is missing, this process does not take place. Eventually, the jaw will weaken and lose its shape. If an implant is installed, it will take the place of the lost tooth and keep your jaw strong.
If your jaw weakens and loses its shape, the skin around your jawline will become loose and hang. This leads to premature wrinkles, which hide the shape of your jawline and can make you look older.
With dental implants, the jaw retains its strength and holds its shape, along with the skin surrounding it. If you have already experienced bone loss, supplemental treatments like bone grafting can help restore the strength of your jaw.
In addition to stress from potential health risks, having missing teeth can affect how you feel and act. You might feel less confident in your smile, being afraid of exposing the gaps between your teeth and leading you to lose confidence in yourself.
Dental implants can restore your confidence by giving you a fully restored smile you’ll want to show to the world.
Increased likelihood of pain.
An empty gap leaves an exposed area in your gums that can be sensitive and become irritated. This exposed opening is where sensitive nerves travel into the body which can cause pain if not properly protected.
A dental implant will fill the gap, keep the area safe, and reduce the pain in your life.
Anxiety and unhappiness.
Smiling can help ease worries and make you feel happier. If you’re afraid to smile because of gaps in your smile, it may cause you to feel less positive overall. It’s not hard to see why tooth loss is associated with a greater risk of anxiety and depression.
Dental implants can look natural and match the rest of your teeth, so your genuine smile can shine. You shouldn’t have to be afraid to express happiness.
Dental Implants Can Help
Balboa Island Dentistry believes in restoring your smile to protect your health. Your oral, mental, and overall health will be better by filling the gaps in your smile. No matter the reason for your tooth loss, we have a solution to improve your life.
We offer various dental implant solutions depending on how extensive your tooth loss is. With implants, you’ll be able to live unrestricted by missing teeth.
Contact our Newport Beach practice and let us know you’re interested in dental implants. Dr. Alfano will find a solution for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults?
The most common cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Luckily, if you maintain a good oral hygiene routine by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily, you can avoid developing gum disease.
In addition to good oral hygiene habits, you’ll want to schedule regular exams and cleanings with Dr. Alfano. During these visits, he’ll assess your oral health and ensure your teeth and gums are in pristine condition. He’ll also notify you of any areas of concern so we can provide treatment before they require more invasive procedures.
What kind of problems can occur from tooth loss?
If you leave tooth loss untreated, it can lead to a variety of dental issues, including:
- Oral infections
- Bite problems
- Joint pain
Along with these issues, tooth loss can also cause misaligned teeth over time. Misaligned teeth can make it harder to clean in between, which can lead to tooth decay and further tooth loss. If you’re missing teeth, contact our Newport Beach office by calling (949) 630-0972 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Alfano.