In our lifetime, as humans, we get two sets of teeth. First come our milk (or baby) teeth, which fall out and are replaced by our permanent adult teeth.
It may sound stupid, but teeth are a huge part of our body. Not only are they essential for us to eat, but they’re also needed to help us speak properly, and maintain the shape and structure of our jaw.
A missing tooth as an adult is not only unattractive and can cause embarrassment, but there are a lot of severe medical and dental complications that you may not be aware of.
Let’s have a look at the top 10 reasons why missing teeth should NOT be ignored!
Bloating & Indigestion
Tied in with the above, if you’re unable to chew your food properly, lesser amounts of the digestive enzyme are produced in the small intestine and stomach.
This can mean food isn’t properly digested and bigger particles will have to make their way through the digestive tract.
But what does this mean for me? Ultimately, it can lead to gas, bloating and constipation. In the long-term, it can also result in weight loss and malnutrition – as you simply won’t be getting all the nutrients from what you’re eating.
Poor Health due to a Lack of Nutrients
It’s common knowledge that to keep healthy and protect yourself against chronic disease, you must eat a varied diet of nutrient-rich foods.
If however, you’re having problems biting, tearing, or chewing food – it’s likely that there are certain foods or food groups you’re ignoring altogether! This can have big implications for your health later down the line.
Yes, if you’re happy to live off a liquid diet and blend all your foods, this could work. But not many people want to live that way! Pureed Sunday roast dinner anyone?
Beyond eating, having missing teeth can lead to problems with how you speak.
The way we can talk, is caused by an interaction between breath and vibrations in your teeth.
Take a tooth or multiple teeth away, and this can result in you slurring your words or developing a lisp. It can also cause difficulties in the way you articulate particular words and sounds.
Throughout your adult life, teeth tend to move. If you have a missing tooth, whether at the back or front of your mouth, this can in turn cause adjacent teeth to move and edge towards the space.
This can in turn cause bite problems and impact on the way you eat even more.
A single missing tooth can influence what, where and how you eat. That crunch apple looks nice, hey? Well, a missing tooth at the front will stop you from biting into it easily. If it’s one of the back teeth that’s missing, then grinding or mashing food could be problematic.
Facial Appearance Changes
Teeth are an important part of your facial aesthetics, as they support our lips and cheeks. Missing a tooth, and this can cause the lips and cheeks to sag or appear sunken. Wrinkles can also appear as our skin isn’t filled out by the teeth.
If your jaw shrinks (as detailed above), it can change the proportions of your face and make your nose look bigger.
Ultimately, all these things can make you appear older than you are!
Poor Gum Health & Disease
If you lose a tooth or one falls out, you’re left with a big hole in your smile, with the gum exposed.
This quickly becomes a big pocket for bacteria to get into, which can be difficult to remove. The consequences of this? Gum disease which causes gum recession, bone loss and sometimes more missing teeth.
Loss of Bone
Bone loss can be a big problem with missing teeth. The reason this happens is once a tooth falls out, reabsorption of the supporting bone can occur and the jawbone shrinks.
It’s not always visible with one missing tooth but can lead to further instability of adjacent teeth, which increases the risk of them also falling out.
Chronic Health Problems
We detailed earlier about how poor diet and nutrition can lead to ill health, but gum disease caused by tooth loss has also been linked to several serious conditions including diabetes and heart disease.
Missing teeth not only impacts your appearance and the way you talk or eat but can have detrimental effects on your overall health.
Lack of Self Confidence
Missing teeth can have a big impact your self-esteem. Changing your appearance, how you talk, and how you eat, it’s no wonder your confidence can take a hit.
This can make many people avoid socializing with friends or family and spending more time at home to avoid embarrassment.
If this cycle continues it can affect you psychologically and socially, and sometimes even impact on your ability to find employment.
However, Missing Teeth Can Be Fixed!
It will no doubt fill you with joy to hear that this doesn’t need to be you! If you have missing teeth there are things that can be done to stop all the above from happening.
Dental implants are an amazing solution for missing teeth.
Implants offer a long-lasting and predictable solution, which, when placed correctly, have a very high success rate. They offer a better quality of life than alternative methods for replacing teeth.
But please bear in mind, the longer you’re missing teeth, the bigger risk it will impact your life. Being proactive and looking into your options to replace missing teeth early will reap huge rewards in the long-term.
What Should I Do Next?
To find out if you’re suitable for dental implants, contact a specialist dental implant surgeon for a consultation.
Smile Stories offer dental implants in Bournemouth.