Tooth loss is a significant oral health issue that many don’t fully understand. With 178 million people in the United States missing at least one tooth, many are impacted. Understanding the repercussions of tooth loss is important when deciding what to do about it. A missing tooth or teeth can impact your life physically, personally, socially and professionally.
Bone and Tooth Loss go Hand in Hand
A significant physical concern of missing teeth is bone loss. Often referred to as bone resorption, it occurs when tooth roots are no longer embedded in the jawbone. This void will eventually begin to deteriorate. In addition, the risk of losing neighboring teeth increases. All these factors can greatly affect the appearance of facial features. Lips can become sunken into the mouth or appear uneven. The entire jawline can shift as well. On top of that, the risk of gum disease increases.
The physical concerns of tooth loss are scary enough, but unfortunately, it can affect many other areas of one’s life. Not being able to consume certain types of food can impact health significantly. It may become difficult to bite harder foods and chewing can become an issue. This can lead to overuse of other teeth and nutritional concerns. Digestive issues can be common when only softer foods are eaten or food is never properly chewed before swallowing.
If your tooth loss is visible when smiling, eating or speaking, additional issues can arise. Speech can be impacted, causing a lisp or changing the pronunciation of certain words or sounds. Socially, tooth loss can cause less smiling, speaking or social interaction. Many with tooth loss find themselves avoiding public situations. This can affect social life, mental health, and even professional status. Finding a job can be more difficult in turn affecting earning potential.
What to do about Tooth Loss
Consistent visits with your dentist are the key to overall oral health. Speaking about issues, pain and any changes in your mouth can help them keep your teeth as long as possible. Should you experience tooth loss, get in for an appointment as soon as possible. Many of the concerns above can be avoided with quick attention. Discuss options with your dentist. Dental implants are a great option for a permanent solution. The dentists at Foundation of Health Dental Care are ready to set up a consultation for implant placement. Call (816) 233-0142 or contact them online to learn more and to set up an appointment. Don’t suffer in silence with tooth loss another day.