If you have all of your teeth currently then you may not be able to imagine not being able to enjoy your favorite food, like a steak or an apple. Or not getting that dream job because you don’t feel confident enough to smile. These hardships are a reality for many adults, and this is something we want to assist with! The American Dental Association has found that on average an adult has three or more missing teeth or teeth that should be pulled and replaced. While it may not seem like a big deal to ignore a missing tooth if it is in the back of your mouth, we would encourage you to always take care of missing teeth.
Many of the teeth that people are missing are the result of some type of trauma, tooth decay, or gum disease. Missing teeth isn’t just a cosmetic thing, it can actually have serious effects. Difficulty with chewing is one of the most major problems of having a missing tooth. This could be because of pain and that can cause people to start eating different foods, which can result in poor nutrition.
Bone loss is another major side effect of a lost tooth. Over time the bone in your jaw can start to break down and cause you to look older and your face can even shrink. Your teeth could also start shifting to fill gaps of missing teeth, which can, in turn, cause even more problems. It can also make it more difficult to brush your teeth, and that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
While physical looks shouldn’t be very important, the reality is many people feel embarrassed to smile if they are missing teeth. Over 23% of people with missing teeth said they avoid smiling because of it. This is sad and should be resolved. Also, missing teeth can cause your speech to change, which can be a factor in lack of confidence. This lack of confidence could actually affect your ability to get a job since a lack of confidence can negatively impact your interviewing or ability to effectively interact with customers.
The good news is there are solutions to fixing missing teeth! The best option is dental implants. Implants can replace one tooth or all of your teeth. They take a while to install, but they are the only type of fake teeth that feel nearly real! This is almost always the best option. Bridges and dentures are different in that they aren’t embedded permanently into your jaw. Bridges are anchored to the surrounding teeth and dentures are removable. Dentures also still allow for bone loss and early aging of the mouth.
If you have experienced teeth loss, then you should talk to your dentist to see which option for replacing these teeth is the best for you!