Having a complete, healthy set of teeth is not only good aesthetically. It is also good for the overall dental and physical health. There are many factors that cause tooth loss. Lifestyle and poor dental habits are two of these. Loss of teeth is also more common among older people. Before we deal with the solution, let us first understand the common effects of losing teeth.
Effect on the Jaw Bone
One of the effects of tooth loss is a bone loss in the jaw. There is a correlation between a healthy tooth and healthy jaw. The teeth help preserve and create the shape and size of the jaw. Normal chewing keeps the jaw healthy and strong. Tooth loss can result in a decrease in bone density and dimension. Healthy teeth are necessary to maintain the strength, shape, and density of the bone. This explains why toothless people, particularly older people, have reduced jaw bone height.
Effects on Soft Tissue
Tooth loss may also lead to periodontal disease and other related oral problems. When the bone decreases, the soft tissues are also affected. The tissues tend to decrease. In advanced cases of bone loss, particularly in the lower jaw, the gums become thinner. This can lead to other gum diseases as well such as sore spots. People experience tongue enlargement if there are a few or no teeth left. For those wearing traditional dentures, the dentures will become less stable as the tongue takes a more active role in the chewing of food. This, among others, is dental implants and more advanced dental procedures are now more preferred than traditional methods.
Effects on Facial Appearance
Toothless people look older than their age. The loss of a number of teeth, the decreased bone density, dimension and strength, and the thinning of the gums all affect the facial appearance of a person. Studies show that losing ten teeth or more can make a person look ten years older than his or her actual age. The facial changes include deepening of vertical lines in the lips, moving forward of the chin, decreased angle in the corner of the lips, thinning and elongation of the upper lip, and deepening of grooves around the lips, especially in the space between the upper lip and nose.
Health Effects of Loss of Teeth
There are studies that link dental problems with other health problems such as stroke and heart disease. People with poorer dental and oral health tend to have poorer overall health. That is why it is important to preserve the health of the teeth, gums, and mouth. If the problem already exists, the best one can do is to replace missing teeth and to restore the dental health. This will not only help them regain their ability to chew naturally but will also allow them to fix or at least mitigate the effects of tooth loss.
Psychological Aspects of Losing Natural Teeth
Teeth loss does not only affect the person physically. It can also affect their emotional and psychological state. Since losing several or all teeth can cause a change in appearance, a person may suffer from insecurity and anxiety. The psychological and emotional effects may minimal to severe, depending on the coping capacity of the person. While complete dentures can satisfy the restoration of the appearance, it does not totally fix the problem.
Tooth Replacements Options
There are various ways of replacing missing teeth. The traditional methods include partial and complete removable dentures. However, traditional dentures, in recent years, show one of the lowest acceptance rates among patients. This is partly because wearing removable partial dentures can affect the health of the remaining teeth and could cause gum tissue deterioration in the long run. Patients wearing traditional dentures often experience accelerated bone loss, incidence of decay, increased gum bleeding, and greater mobility of the teeth.
Thanks to the advancement in dentistry, there are now more reliable options for replacing partial or total loss. These include implant-supported prosthesis and dental implants.
But what is more, preventing tooth loss. Good dental habits and a healthy lifestyle are the keys to maintaining a healthy, complete and natural smile. Here at East Valley Dental Professional, we do not just treat our patients and provide solutions to existing dental problems. We arm our patients with the essential tools in keeping their teeth, gums, and mouth healthy. We highlight the importance of brushing, flossing and oral hygiene habits.