Teeth play a vital role in our daily lives. They are important for eating, smiling, and our general well-being.
Missing teeth can significantly impact our oral and general health when we are unable to eat properly. It may also affect our mental health as it changes our appearance and speech.
Common Causes of Tooth Loss
Although tooth loss increases with age, it can happen at any stage of one’s life.
The most common reasons for tooth loss are:
Tooth decay – bacteria attack the hard enamel surfaces of our teeth due to high levels of sugar in our food and drinks. Maintaining good oral hygiene and reducing the intake of sugary food and drinks will prevent tooth decay.
Gum disease – in severe gum diseases, also known as periodontitis, the surrounding bone that holds your teeth deteriorates or gets damaged. This causes inflammation, bleeding and discomfort and is usually due to poor oral hygiene. This is the most common cause of tooth loss in middle-aged and elderly patients.
Trauma – high impact such as during sports, accidents or blows to the face can knock teeth out. Wearing a custom nightguard during sports can reduce the risks of trauma.
Why Do We Need To Replace Missing Teeth?
1. Impact on general health
Depending on which teeth are missing, it can affect the way we chew our food. Inadequate chewing can result in nutritional deficiencies as one tends to avoid certain solid foods. The change in diet can affect our overall health.
There can also be an impact on one’s mental heatlh due to a loss in confidence as one attempts to hide the smiles as much as possible.
2. Shifting of adjacent teeth
When a tooth is lost, the remaining teeth may shift towards the position of the missing tooth. This causes teeth to become malaligned and crooked. Spaces will appear between teeth causing food trapping and dental decay. The bone where the tooth used to be will start to shrink (resorb) and decreases in density and volume. This weakens the structural support of the remaining teeth and increases the risk of dental problems later.
3. Changes the appearance of your face
With shrinkage (resorption) of the bone after losing your teeth, the face will start to look older. As you lose more teeth, the closer the nose and chin become and your lips turn downwards into a frown. The lower third of your face will collapse making you look grumpy and aged.
4. Cracked teeth
When one loses a tooth, the tendency is to compensate by chewing more on the other side and continue life as normal. The overuse of that side results in overloading of the teeth which end up being cracked. In extreme cases, they will require extractions resulting in missing teeth on both sides. If still untreated, more teeth will crack due to ever worsening overloading as there are now even lesser teeth for chewing. The initial loss of one tooth therefore can lead to the loss of many more teeth.
What Are The Ways To Replace Missing Teeth?
There are several options to replace missing teeth:
Each method has its pros and cons and no one method is suitable for everyone.
Book an Appointment
Contact us to discuss with our prosthodontist and he will advise what is the best option for you.