There are so many reasons as to why we may lose one or more teeth, but whatever the cause the impact is the same. Accidents, tooth decay, illness are just some reasons we may suffer tooth loss. Depending on where the tooth or teeth are missing it can affect our self confidence because it alters our smile which means we tend to avoid smiling which is one of our key socialising mechanisms. For some the process of replacing a missing tooth might seem overwhelming but there are many good reasons why replacing a missing natural tooth is important. Besides the key fact is that missing teeth can have an adverse effect on your remaining teeth and also affect your long term oral health.
Importance of keeping oral health in optimal condition
Healthy teeth and good oral health play an important role in the quality of life we experience from helping us chew and digest food to helping us speak. Bad oral health not only affects our teeth but also has a negative effect on our overall health. If that was not enough to motivate you to replace any missing teeth then the five key reasons explained below are sure to.
1. Improved self confidence
Do you know anyone who covers their mouth when smiling or laughing? Chances are they have a problem with their teeth such as missing or discoloured teeth. There is just no denying that when you have missing teeth it makes you self-conscious and affects the way you interact socially. A smile is one of the biggest assets when we interact with others and when it is impaired, or we are shy of how it looks we come across as unfriendly or cold. Replacing missing teeth helps us regain our smiles and confidence which is an invaluable gift.
2. Impact of jawbone health on overall health
Our teeth depend on a strong jawbone structure to help anchor and keep the teeth in place. Teeth stimulate the jawbone and keeps it strong so when we lose teeth the gap created between gum and bone is stimulated less which results in a weakening of the density. This affects surrounding teeth as the bone they are anchored to provides less support causing them also to become loose with the very real threat of falling out. It is important to fill the void created by the missing tooth or teeth so that your jawbone health can be retained. When your jawbone becomes weak it affects your teeth and facial structure altering your appearance. Loose teeth make speech and chewing food properly, difficult. That starts to have an impact on your nutrition. Also, when teeth become weak the tooth enamel is compromised which can lead to cavities and an increase of plaque build up near the gum and tooth. An increase in plaque can lead to an increase of harmful bacterial which can directly impact our overall health.
3. Improved food digestion
Despite best efforts when you are missing teeth it alters the way you chew your food and food that is not chewed properly impairs our food digestion. Badly chewed food takes longer to digest which causes gas, bloating, constipation and at times nausea. It also affects the amount of nutrients our body is able to absorb which is when we feel a lowering in our energy levels and experience headaches. By replacing missing teeth you will once again be able to chew your food better which helps increase the production of digestive enzymes which are needed for good digestion. This promotes the nutrients to be better absorbed into the bloodstream which then carries this essential energy to each cell in the body.
4. Impact of missing teeth on other teeth
A missing tooth or teeth unfortunately has a domino effect on your other teeth causing the possibility of more teeth becoming loose and falling out. Not only does it affect your jawbone strength but when you have gaps between your teeth it allows the other teeth to shift around and become crooked or cause further gaps. These gaps in turn can become breeding grounds for bacteria which can lead to gum disease. Replacing your missing tooth or teeth will prevent teeth movement, teeth misalignment and bite issues from arising.
5. Speech and speaking
Missing teeth hinder proper speech because teeth help form words by controlling the airflow created with the lips and tongue out of the mouth. Spitting while speaking, whistling noises, lisping are some of the speech issues that occur when speaking with missing teeth. Replacing your missing teeth will help you to regain clear speech.
Dental treatments for missing teeth
Today dental care provides many cost effective tooth replacement options so that you do not have to live with the stress and difficulties associated with missing teeth.
Dental implants – The form of replacement is very popular these days as they provide long lasting solutions for teeth replacement acting as a strong foundation for both permanent and removable teeth replacements. It is a very secure and natural looking tooth replacement option. This is an invasive procedure as it needs to be placed and drilled into the jaw, which is why it is such a dependable option.
Resin bonded bridge – If you are looking for a less invasive option which is suitable to replace one or two missing teeth then this is a good option. It relies on composite resin cement to create an adhesive bridge that is fixed to the neighbouring teeth. It does not damage the teeth at all. It lasts a long time without problems or the need for replacements making it cost effective as well.
Partial dentures – This consists of a palette with one or more false teeth attached to it and generally comes with clasps to keep it in place when in the mouth. They are long lasting but can become uncomfortable if the fit changes which means they will have to be adjusted periodically.