Tooth Loss and Your Health
Tooth loss is a more common problem than most people realize. In fact, more than 120 million Americans are missing at least one of their teeth. Without treatment, tooth loss can result in a variety of serious consequences for your long-term health.
Causes of Tooth Loss
There are several different factors that can result in tooth loss. The most common, and easiest to prevent, is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth every day, or if you skip out on regular dental checkups, this will leave you highly prone to tooth decay and eventual tooth loss. High-sugar diets, tobacco, and drug use have all been linked to tooth loss as well.
Though it’s less common, some patients lose teeth in an accident. Any type of traumatic impact to your face, such as a car crash or a sports collision, can result in tooth loss. Other patients have lost teeth in a fight, or from biting into a hard food. Though some accidents aren’t preventable, you should always exercise caution when it comes to the health of your teeth.
If you’re a senior citizen, your risk for tooth loss significantly increases. Shockingly, one in five adults over the age of 65 are missing all of their teeth. This is because your jawbone and gum tissues naturally weaken over time and can eventually deteriorate. While you can’t help getting older, you can protect yourself from tooth loss with exceptional oral hygiene.
Consequences of Missing Teeth
Without treatment, tooth loss can significantly impact your health. Some of the most severe consequences include:
- Jawbone Deterioration — When you lose a tooth, that area of your jawbone stops receiving stimulation. As a result, that part of your jawbone will start to weaken and lose density. This can affect your appearance, giving you a wrinkled face and hollow cheeks, as well as cause your surrounding teeth to shift.
- Gum Disease — Empty tooth sockets are ideal breeding grounds for harmful bacteria that spread through your gums, inflaming the tissue and causing infection. This means that tooth loss dramatically increases your risk of developing gum disease. Conversely, gum disease destroys your underlying bone tissue and loosens your teeth, often leading to tooth loss without treatment. As a result, poor oral hygiene can lead to a vicious cycle of tooth loss and gum disease.
- Cardiovascular Issues — The bacteria that develop in empty tooth sockets can spread throughout your body. If they spread into your heart and arteries, this causes inflammation which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure, increased cholesterol, and diabetes have all been connected to tooth loss as well.
- Damaged Self-Esteem — Though the physical consequences of tooth loss represent a more immediate threat, the psychological impact of missing teeth is also significant. Gaps in your smile often make you feel insecure about your appearance and hesitant to smile around others. This can lead to lower self-esteem, damaging your ability to socialize and meet new people.
Visit Dr. Munro for Dental Implants
If you have missing teeth, Dr. Munro can restore your smile and prevent these consequences from occurring with natural-looking dental implants. Our implant solutions are highly durable and stimulate healthy jawbone growth, protecting your long-term oral health. Best of all, they look natural and can last a lifetime with proper care.