Why Filling the Gaps in Your Smile Is a Healthy Choice
When you are living with tooth loss, you find ways to cope. A friend tells a joke, and you cover your mouth before laughing. In every picture, you have your mouth closed so no one can tell you are missing teeth.
These habits may disguise tooth loss, but they don’t solve the more serious problems that can develop from missing teeth. The aesthetic effects of missing teeth are obvious, but tooth loss also has negative effects on your health.
Here are some of the side-effects of tooth loss:
Loss of Tooth Function
The gaps left by missing teeth can make it difficult for you to speak clearly. With fewer teeth, you also have less bite force, so food is difficult to chew. You may need to chew your food on one side of your mouth and may even have difficulty swallowing.
Tooth loss causes your remaining teeth to tilt and move to fill the gaps. If you have lost teeth in your lower jaw, the teeth above them may start to drift downward. Misalignment of your teeth makes them more difficult to clean, so you may develop cavities more easily.
The gum tissue in the gap left by the missing tooth may become sensitive and inflamed from exposure. Eventually, gum disease may develop and can spread.
Damage to Remaining Teeth
Your remaining teeth need to take over the chewing function of your missing teeth. As a result, they are exposed to more force than they can handle. As a result, they may split or break, resulting in further tooth loss.
After you have lost a tooth, your gums may begin to shrink, eventually exposing the root of your tooth. Your tooth roots are extremely sensitive to heat, cold, and touch. When anything makes contact with an exposed root, you may experience sharp pain.
Infections caused by gum disease and tooth decay may enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body. When these infections spread, they can weaken your body’s ability to fight disease, leading to chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
Tooth Loss Is a Slippery Slope
The longer you put off tooth replacement, the more severe the health risks created by tooth loss. As we discussed in our blog, 4 Long-term Consequences of Missing Teeth, tooth loss affects your bite, creating pain in your facial muscles and jaw, which can lead to debilitating headaches. Without the stimulation of contact between your teeth, your jawbone will begin to shrink, leading to a prematurely aged look.
Find a Solution to Tooth Loss
Hiding the gaps in your smile won’t prevent the damaging effects of tooth loss. Dental implants provide a permanent replacement to missing teeth that restores full function to your mouth. Implants are anchored to your jaw so they prevent your natural teeth from shifting or becoming damaged. Implants also stimulate the growth of new jawbone so you can regain a more youthful appearance.
Most importantly, dental implants prevent the health problems that can result from long-term tooth loss.
Your journey to a healthy and complete smile can begin today. Schedule a consultation at Cumberland Surgical Arts.
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