What Happens When You Lose A Tooth?
Are You Missing A Tooth or Multiple Teeth?
Statistics show that 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay. – AAOMS (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons)
Missing even just a single tooth can have serious consequences, both from a health and quality of life perspective.
Whether you are missing a single tooth or several of them, the consequences are sometimes misunderstood. Missing just a single tooth greatly impacts your speech, ability to eat, and even your self-esteem.
While there is any number of ways in which you can lose a tooth, there are only a few options to replace missing teeth, with dental implants being the best – meaning the healthiest, most permanent option.
Tooth loss is generally a result of gum disease, tooth decay, poor oral hygiene, genetics, or trauma.
When you lose a tooth, problems start immediately, your teeth are part of your body, they are supposed to be there.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common consequences people with one or more missing teeth experience.
6 Consequences of Missing Teeth
1. You’ll Have Difficulty Eating
Everyone knows that we use our teeth as tools to chew & breakdown the food we eat.
Basically, it breaks down like this, the digestion process begins in your mouth.
Your incisors and canine teeth help to cut and chop while our molars (back teeth) tear and crush our food to break it down, enable us to swallow it, begin to absorb the nutrients, and aid in faster digestion.
But what if you’re missing one of those teeth?
Depending on which tooth you’ve lost, there is a high probability that you will experience difficulties or even discomfort eating some of your favorite foods.
Lose a molar, for example, could lead to difficulties eating nuts, meats, and any other hard or tough-textured food.
But that’s not all, the consequences continue, when you don’t chew your food enough it can lead to poor digestion and consuming poorly chewed food include poor digestion, an even larger impact on how your body breaks down and absorbs the nutrients in food.
2. Your Teeth Will Shift
When teeth are missing, your surrounding teeth can shift to fill the void left from your missing tooth.
But that’s not the worst part of a missing tooth; when you lose a tooth the alveolar bone, the portion of the jaw bone that anchors the teeth in the mouth, no longer receives the necessary stimulation and begins to break down, or resorb.
The body literally thinks it no longer uses or “needs” the jaw bone, so it deteriorates.
Generally, people will lose 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss.
In the same way that muscles are maintained through exercise, bone tissue is maintained by use. Natural teeth are embedded in the jaw bone and stimulate the jaw bone through activities such as chewing and biting.
3. You’ll Have Difficulty Speaking
As we highlighted above, when one or more teeth are missing it can lead to bone loss at the site of the missing tooth.
This loss of jaw bone can develop into additional problems, both with your appearance and your overall health.
People with one or more missing teeth may experience pain, problems with your remaining teeth, an altered facial appearance, and eventually even the inability to speak and eat normally.
The rate that the bone deteriorates, as well as the amount of bone loss that occurs, varies greatly among individuals.
However, most loss occurs within the first eighteen months following the extraction and will continue gradually throughout your life.
Aside from altering your facial appearance and leading to difficulty eating, missing even just one tooth can interfere with how you naturally pronounce some words.
This is why some people with missing teeth can experience problems when speaking, like whistling, spitting, or slurring.
4. You Will Lose Jaw Bone
In case you haven’t figured out the absolute worst consequence of missing a tooth, it’s bone loss.
Through your daily activities of talking, chewing & eating, you are actually exercising our jaw bone.
In the same way that muscles are maintained through exercise, bone tissue is maintained by use.
This exercise helps preserve the jaw bone and maintain it’s health.
When you lose a tooth, your jaw bone is not stimulated in that particular area, this then leads to a decrease in strength, shape, and size – just like when you take a little too much time off from exercise!
5. You’ll Look Older
Remember when you were a kid, and you couldn’t wait to be a teenager? Then you couldn’t wait to get your license, then it was a mad dash to graduate high school and start your life.
You wanted to look, feel, and be older – we all do at that age – and then we grow up. Tooth loss is not natural, and it’s not something that just occurs with age.
No adult wants to look older, but that’s exactly what you’ll get if you don’t immediately replace your missing tooth with a dental implant!
Who would want their appearance and health to deteriorate? That’s the natural consequence of missing teeth – the jaw literally melts away.
Missing teeth accelerates the aging process because it all comes back to bone loss.
When you’re missing teeth the jaw bone actually shrinks, and your facial appearance changes along with it. Due to the associated bone loss, your facial features will actually start to collapse, leading to that “sunken in” look.
This is how missing even just a single tooth can cause a noticeable change in both facial appearance and bite alignment.
Missing teeth can cause early aging due to these consequences associated with bone loss.
6. You’ll Lose Confidence
Losing a tooth is no laughing matter, especially if it’s one of your more visible ones.
If you had a missing tooth, would you be just as comfortable to talk without reservation or smile wide in pictures?
A missing tooth can have a significant impact on your self-esteem, especially when it’s one of the front teeth.
You may feel embarrassed to smile or to talk in front of people, or you suddenly developed a lisp due to a missing front tooth.
When you’re teeth & gums are in great shape, you have no problem smiling.
The world is a better place with your smile in it, don’t let a missing tooth stop you from sharing your smile!
The #1 Solution For Missing Teeth
Got a missing tooth? Replace it, ASAP!
As we stated earlier, the healthiest, most permanent option to replace one or more missing teeth is dental implants.
Dental implants are actually surgically implanted into the jaw bone, which mimics your natural jaw bone and tooth root.
Beyond all of the aesthetics and the emotional impact, missing just one tooth can have a major impact on your oral & overall health.
When your teeth & gums are healthy, you’re healthier too!
Somerset NJ Dental Implants: Advanced Dental Arts by Joseph Haddad, D.D.S.
Our patient’s comfort is our primary concern. We proudly provide quality implant dentistry care to Somerset, NJ. 08873, in addition to the surrounding areas of Bound Brook, Hillsborough Township, Readington Township, and Bridgewater.
We offer the most advanced technology in implant dentistry including surgery, bone-grafting, restoration, and we proudly offer several types of dental sedation for our patient’s comfort.
We’ll be glad to hear from you if you have any questions. The first step towards a beautiful, healthy smile is to schedule an appointment, please call us today at (732) 545-8111.
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