According to the American college of Prosthodontics, there are more than 178 million people in the United States that are missing at least one tooth and there are more than 35 million people that don’t have any teeth. There are many causes of tooth loss, including wear, cancer, gum disease, and injury. But no matter what the cause of a tooth loss, it impacts on most people’s life. If you are missing a tooth or teeth, there are costs to never replacing that tooth.
One of the most serious dangers related to not replacing a tooth is bone loss. The actual term for this is bone resorption. This occurs when a tooth is lost and the roots are no longer embedded in the jawbone, and this leaves a void. Over time this can cause the jawbone to deteriorate. This doesn’t just effect the one area that the tooth was, it can actually cause the surrounding teeth to potentially fall out. You may notice your face slowly changing due to the change in your jaw. This void also increases the chances of gum disease.
Difficulty in speaking clearly and eating certain foods
This effect of a missing tooth is dependent on which tooth was lost. If it was in an area you normally chewed, then it can be more difficult to bite and chew some types of foods. It isn’t uncommon for those that are missing teeth to develop digestive issues because they eat softer foods or don’t fully chew their food. Usually, difficulty in pronouncing some words is caused when the front teeth are missing.
The effects we mentioned above are all physical and tangible results of missing a tooth. But there are also internal, intangible effects. There are many people who feel self-conscious when they smile because the empty space where the tooth normally would be. Many people don’t like to smile because they are embarrassed, and this can affect them socially in many ways. We aren’t saying that you should have low self-esteem because of a missing tooth, we are only saying that it is common. This is sad because it can be fixed. Many peoples lives are affected by their teeth much more then they think.
There are multiple options when it comes to replacing teeth and many of these depend on the number of teeth lost and their location. One of the most popular is dental implants. Implants are durable, sturdy, and last much longer than the other options. The titanium post used to implant the tooth will actually fuse with your jaw bone and this can prevent bone loss. Dental Implants also can restore peoples self-confidence because they look and feel like real teeth! Talk to our Dentists here at East Center Dental to find out what your options are if you are missing teeth.