No one wants to run around with a gap-toothed smile, at least not after elementary school. Yet the American College of Prosthodontists says there are 120 million Americans walking around with missing teeth. Many choose not to fix the problem, assuming it’s just a cosmetic issue. If you’re among them, you need to know that lost teeth pose a health risk.
While a missing tooth is a definite cosmetic issue, many of our Chicago area patients are surprised to learn that tooth loss causes serious health issues. That’s why Irfan Atcha, DDS, DICOI, DADIA, is passionate about helping his patients find solutions to their lost teeth. Here’s a closer look at how your missing teeth can negatively affect your health and what you can do about it.
You may look older than you are
The skin around your mouth doesn’t get enough support when you lose teeth. This leads to sagging skin, which makes you look older than you are. So, you probably want to address those missing teeth before this damage happens.
Your diet will suffer
Healthy, nutritious foods are vital for your long-term health. Yet with missing teeth, you may struggle to crunch an apple or munch on a carrot. Softer foods, which are easier to eat, are often less nutritious. A diet filled with soft foods puts your long-term health at risk. Your body needs a balanced diet, and you need your teeth to eat well.
Bone mass may decrease
Teeth are anchored to the jawbone. When a tooth is lost, the part of the jawbone that once supported it will recede. Why? Because the body senses you don’t need that part of the bone, and it stops sending nutrients to it. If you decide later that you do want to replace the lost tooth, you might need a jawbone graft first.
Your teeth may move
If you’ve ever had braces, you know that they can and do shift. When you lose a tooth, the teeth around it will naturally move to fill the space. This means that not only will you have that one gap, but you may develop new ones. Teeth that aren’t in the right position can’t do their job well either, and misaligned teeth can lead to bite and jaw problems.
Missing teeth can affect your emotional health
Beauty may only be skin deep, but the truth is we are all affected by how we look. When you have teeth missing, you may feel less confident and less prone to smiling. That lack of confidence or insecurity about how you look can damage your emotional health, leading to problems like anxiety, depression and social isolation.
The solution to missing teeth is simple!
While missing teeth can cause serious problems, the good news for adults who lose a tooth is this: The solution to your missing teeth is simple! Dr. Atcha at New Teeth Chicago Dental has a variety of methods to replace lost teeth. Whether you opt for a bridge, dentures or an implant, Dr. Atcha can ensure you do not suffer these ill effects from missing teeth. If you’re ready to protect your health, replace your teeth and restore your confidence by giving New Teeth Chicago Dental a call! You can also book an appointment with our Chicago practice online.