Can Missing Teeth Affect More Than Your Smile?By: Britely
By the time the average American reaches age 50, they will likely have missing teeth. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), nearly 70% of Americans have lost a permanent tooth by age 50, with the average being around 12 teeth lost. Among adults 65-74, 26% have lost all of their teeth.
Lost teeth is clearly a common problem, but how can it affect your overall health beyond your smile?
Your diet will change tremendously.
Missing teeth can inhibit your ability to eat healthy foods. With a complete set of healthy teeth, you can eat (almost) anything you want. For example, you can bite into a piece of chicken without thinking about how you can chew it. If you are missing teeth, you may have to switch to a processed version, like chicken nuggets. Nuggets have a softer, mushy inside, which allows someone with missing teeth to chew easier. A poor diet of processed foods like chicken nuggets can have adverse effects on your health due to their preparation methods and use of additives.
Missing teeth can cause gum disease
Periodontitis (also called gum disease) is a serious condition that damages the soft tissue and bone around your teeth. A lost tooth creates a pocket in the bone and your gums, allowing bacteria to enter. The more bacteria that enters, the more diseased the area becomes. Research shows that bacteria present in gum tissue can travel throughout the body, triggering heart infection that can lead to heart attack, stroke, hypertension, dementia and even some types of cancer.
Losing even one tooth can make you lose MORE teeth
In the first year after losing a tooth, around 25% of the surrounding bone is lost and continues to wear away over time. With a full set of healthy teeth, bone is kept strong when pressure and stimulation are applied through chewing. When you have missing teeth that prevent your bone from receiving that pressure and stimulation, the bone resorbs into your body. This deterioration can cause remaining healthy teeth to become loose or fall out.
What can you do about your missing teeth?
So, now that we see the problems of missing teeth, what is the solution? Regardless of the underlying cause of your tooth loss, there are a few different treatments available to prevent further damage to your health: dental implants (both full mouth and partial) or removable (full and partial) dentures. Both can be long lasting solutions, and prosthetics are immune to disease, meaning that your dentures or implants will not spread disease to your remaining healthy teeth.
It can be overwhelming and confusing to navigate your options, we know! That’s why our consultations are always complimentary, and we can help you find resources to help you through the dentures or implants decision making process. We offer dental implants to fix both diseased and missing teeth. Implants are a great replacement, as they can last a lifetime and are immune to disease.
See if dental implants or dentures are right for you. schedule your free consultation today!