Tooth Loss And The True Cost Of Not Replacing A Missing Tooth
As dentists our main aim is to preserve teeth. Unfortunately, in some cases, tooth loss is inevitable. However, it’s what you do next that really counts.
As dentists, our main aim is to preserve teeth. That being said, situations do occasionally arise where we are defeated and a tooth unfortunately has to be removed, either because it's diseased or damaged. So when tooth loss is inevitable, what happens next?
Well if you’ve ever lost a tooth, regardless of the reason, rest assured you’re not alone. There are over 27 million adults in the UK who are missing at least one tooth, with many missing around four on average. Some of those who are suffering from tooth loss will decide not to replace their missing teeth, but is this really a wise choice?
The hidden consequences of missing teeth…
Unbeknown to many, if you’re missing a tooth, an unsightly gap may actually be the least of your worries. It helps to understand the camaraderie between teeth. Ideally they’re designed to all work together, so if even one tooth is lost it can quickly throw the others off balance. From bone loss to premature ageing, let’s take a look at just 4 reasons why you might decide to think twice about accepting a gap.
Consequence # 1: Low self-esteem
By far the most obvious result of a missing tooth is the negative affect it has on our appearance. Of course the way we look, also affects the way we feel. So missing a tooth in a fairly visible spot can have a real psychological and social impact on our lives.
Consequence # 2: Difficulty
When you have tooth loss, depending of course upon which teeth are missing, it can be a real struggle eating certain foods. Nutritionally packed foods like fruit and vegetables are generally quite fibrous so we need our teeth to chew them properly. For this reason, if chewing difficulties cause you to dodge most nutritious foods, it could possibly affect your overall health.
Consequence # 3: Drifting teeth
When a space becomes available in the mouth, the surrounding teeth start to slowly drift into the gap and this can really change the alignment of your teeth and way you bite together. This becomes an issue because the teeth often begin to lean as they shift, creating more difficulty chewing along with jaw joint problems from the extra strain.
Consequence # 4: Bone loss
Here’s the real problem and possibly the most overlooked. When you suffer tooth loss the natural roots are no longer present in the bone. Over time, the lack of stimulation of the surrounding bone tissue causes the jawbone to deteriorate and reabsorb. When this happens not only does it cause a sunken-in and more aged appearance but to top it off, the reduced bone can cause exposure of the roots of your surrounding teeth which increases sensitivity. The reduced bone mass makes the replacement of missing teeth more difficult.
The best solution
Thankfully, there are options available for tooth replacement, such as dentures and bridges but the best solution in many cases is to undergo an implant-based restoration. Dental implants are the closest thing to having your own natural teeth back. Not only are implants longer lasting and more successful, but they restore appearance, improve function, and also preserve the bone too - something that no other tooth replacement option can do. To learn more about dental implants, click here.
The bottom line
So there’s certainly no doubt about it, tooth loss can have a massive impact on our lives. Hopefully we’ve been able to help you understand the real consequences of not replacing a missing tooth and see that the only real question is – can you really afford not to?
To find out more about our tooth replacement options including dental implants, contact Measham Dental today on 01530 272 264.