Your adult teeth should last a lifetime, unlike your baby teeth. Take the tooth enamel (the outer layer of teeth) as an example – it is the hardest bony part of the body. It is harder than all of the bones you have in your body.
That is not mean that your teeth are invisible. You can still lose your teeth.
You can miss your teeth because of several reasons. For instance, teeth decay left untreated may cause the tooth to die and fall out. Bacterial infections causing gum disease could loosen the gum and cause several teeth to fall immediately or decay and then fall.
And then there is the most apparent cause of missing teeth – an accident that knocks out teeth when enjoying a soccer match, a when skiing down a slope, or any other thrilling activity.
While a missing tooth can be unsightly, it also tends to be uncomfortable. However, the biggest problem arising from missing teeth is the variety of health problems you face. Chewing food becomes a problem, talking becomes impeded, and in some cases, you experience enduring headaches.
You also have to contend with the increased risk of oral infection when you are missing a tooth. Such diseases also have the potential to spread to other parts of the body, causing severe health issues.
Herein, we will explore how a missing tooth can hurt your overall health, and specifically, your oral health. Read how you can avoid tooth loss and the options you have when faced with a missing tooth.
Missing Teeth And It Implications On Your Oral Health
Consider your oral health as the gateway to your overall health. A key risk factor to be mindful of is missing adult teeth.
Medical research shows that the risk increases with every missing tooth. Some of the problems you face when you have a missing tooth include:
– A missing tooth could cause the gums to recede and the jaw bone to shrink. This could cause the neighboring teeth to weaken. Additionally, the adjacent teeth are at a higher risk of decay and plaque buildup.
– The nearby teeth could spread into the gap, causing crowded or crooked teeth.
– Missing teeth increase the risk of gum disease, such as receding gums, which can also create pockets for bacteria to inhabit and thrive.
Poor Overall Health And Poor Oral Health
Some of the oral health issues that accompany missing teeth can cause more severe health issues if left untreated. For instance, untreated gum infection and tooth decay can cause health issues, such as:
#1. Heart Disease – Untreated tooth decay could cause inflammation and infections, which could cause cardiovascular diseases, clogged arteries, and strokes.
#2. Premature Births – Studies have shown that there is a possibility of women with gum disease being more likely to give birth prematurely. This may stem from gum disease, which increases the level of chemicals that can induce labor.
#3. Endocarditis – Bacteria and germs found in your mouth can spread into your bloodstream and end up in your heart. Such a situation could cause endocarditis – the infection of the heart’s inner lining.
Fixing Missing Teeth
While a missing tooth is a huge problem, there are numerous solutions. Some of the options you can use to address the issues and negate any future issues from arising are:
A denture is a dental apparatus that you wear in your mouth with teeth fittings for the spaces without teeth. They are typically made of acrylic or metal, and they can be partial dentures or full dentures depending on the level of the gap.
Bridges are “filler” teeth that dentists mount to the neighboring teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge is bonded to your mouth, thereby securing it in place.
Dental implants are permanent solutions than bridges and feel, look like, and mimic natural teeth. They installed by fusing titanium support into the jaw. After that, a false tooth is fitted over the support. This installation method and process typically protects your other natural teeth. Dental implants are the best solution when you are missing a tooth.
How You Can Prevent Missing Teeth
As always, prevention is better than cure. It is far better to prevent losing a tooth than fixing the issue. To this end, maintaining proper oral health will defend your teeth from the possibility of falling off.
– Brush your teeth at least twice daily with a fluoride-based toothpaste. Ensure your brush is in good condition. Replace the brush when they start to wear and tear (typically once every three months).
– Consume a healthy diet and reduce eating sugary drinks and foods. Minimize smoking, as well.
– Schedule regular dental cleanings.
It is also important to note that you should always address dental problems as early as possible. This will prevent serious issues from arising and affecting other parts of your health and body. Also, take up dental insurance as it will help up seek preventive care that will go a long way in negating the risk of teeth loss. The insurance will also help pay for treatment should you need it.