Dental Problems Caused by Missing Teeth
The problems of missing teeth affect millions of people across the globe. Whether you are missing a single tooth or several of them, the consequences can be far-reaching, and it is typically more than just the impact on your speech, ability to eat, or even self-esteem.
Well, there are many ways through which one can lose a tooth. It can be as a result of gum disease, tooth decay, poor oral hygiene or even an accident or injury. Some people have reportedly lost their teeth due to genetic-related issues. A case in point is when one is born with weak teeth that are more prone to decay. Children, especially those between the age 5 and 15, will lose their “baby teeth”. That notwithstanding, missing teeth could cause a couple of problems, and it is always a good idea to visit your Grande Prairie Dentist to discuss solutions for your missing teeth. We have included the most common problems caused by missing teeth as follows:
- Difficulty chewing
We all know that the teeth’s primary role is to chew and tear down food so that we can easily swallow, and digestion is quicker. We are also aware that some teeth are more suitable for chewing tougher foods like meat and nuts. Depending on which tooth you have lost, chances are that you will experience some challenges eating some of your preferred foods. If you have lost any of your molars, for instance, then you will merely have difficulties grinding up nuts, meat, and any other hard or tough food. The consequences of consuming poorly chewed food include poor digestion and limited diet.
- Shifting teeth
While we know from science that teeth are attached firmly to the jawbone, there comes a time when they shift a little bit because of many dental issues. Dentists claim that the issue of teeth shifting is accelerated if any teeth are missing. Losing a tooth means that a gap is created, giving the adjacent teeth free space to shift. As soon as one tooth starts shifting, the rest follow suit, and this could eventually change your smile and the way you eat or speak!
- Speech issues
Scholars in the realm of teaching languages and pronunciation claim teeth play a significant role in speech. So that, if one tooth is missing, the gaps which are created impact the movement of the tongue, thereby making it more difficult to pronounce some words. This perhaps explains why some people with missing teeth experience whistling, spitting, or slurring when speaking!
- Bone loss
Did you know that your teeth help your jaw to continually replace bone mass? When someone chews anything, the forces transmitted from the teeth right to the bone are simply the ones that preserve the bone and keep it healthy. When a tooth is missing, bone is not stimulated in that section, which explains why it starts to decrease in strength, shape, and size.
- Early aging
While many people take facial changes to mean losing weight or getting older, when one misses teeth, the process is even accelerated. This is because when one experiences more and more bone loss, there is a drastic decrease in width and height of the jawbone, which causes a myriad of facial changes like a decrease in the facial height and bite changes that make the chin to forward move. Missing teeth can cause early aging due to these changes.
- Loss of confidence
Losing teeth, especially the front ones, can be a recipe for low self-esteem. People may feel embarrassed to smile or even to speak in front of others. Remember the issue of difficulties in pronouncing some words. Some people go to great lengths to keep from smiling at all or avoiding social settings altogether!
The solution for missing teeth
Of course, there is no other better solution to missing teeth than replacing them. The most permanent option is to get dental implants where titanium screws are inserted into the jaw to act as an artificial tooth root. This technique is quite effective and so many patients these days are choosing the implant dentistry. Another reason that perhaps explains this popularity is that dental implants are indistinguishable in both function and appearance from the natural teeth. An oral surgeon, however, must conduct the procedure so you will have the best results.
Dental bridges and dentures are great options if you are considering non-surgical alternatives. While bridges are typically attached permanently to dental crowns, in order to close the gap left by the missing teeth, dentures are detachable restorations designed to replace missing teeth.
Brenda Thompson has worked in the dental industry since 2008 and loves to bring her passion for marketing to it. She graduated from college, moved to Alberta and joined the dental team where she loves the family friendly atmosphere in the office.