Tooth loss has been a common issue throughout history. Although we’ve made considerable strides in dental research and technology, there are still more than 120 million Americans missing at least one tooth.
In addition to impacting the appearance of your smile, missing teeth can lead to a wide range of consequences for your overall health. Keep reading to learn about these consequences and how you can avoid them.
The Consequences of Tooth Loss
Some people view tooth loss as nothing more than a cosmetic issue and delay seeking treatment. In reality, tooth loss can be very detrimental to your well-being and it’s essential to seek proper treatment right away.
Some of the most severe consequences of tooth loss include:
- Weakened Jawbone — When you lose a tooth, that area of your jawbone no longer receives any stimulation, causing your jawbone to deteriorate.
- Shifting Teeth/Misaligned Bite — As your jawbone weakens, your surrounding teeth will shift and change the alignment of your bite, impacting your ability to chew.
- Gum Disease — Empty tooth sockets are an optimal breeding ground for harmful bacteria, increasing your risk of gum disease.
- Cardiovascular Issues — The same bacteria that cause gum infection can also travel through your bloodstream to your arteries, resulting in heart attacks, strokes, and other serious medical issues.
- Increased Sensitivity — Empty tooth sockets expose your nerves that are normally protected, which can lead to debilitating pain and irritation.
- Premature Wrinkles — As your jawbone deteriorates, your cheeks will begin to hollow out and develop premature wrinkles, making you appear much older than you really are.
- Low Self-Esteem — Gaps in your smile often result in self-confidence issues and social embarrassment, damaging your ability to make new friends.
How to Prevent Tooth Loss
While some patients lose a tooth as a result of accidental trauma, such as a blow to the face or biting into a hard surface, most of the issues that cause tooth loss are easily preventable. To keep your mouth clear of harmful bacteria that erode your tooth enamel, make sure to brush and floss twice a day, every day. Rinsing your mouth out with an antibacterial mouthwash is also helpful.
It’s also important to visit your dentist at least twice a year for hygiene appointments. During these visits, they’ll use special tools to dig plaque out of the deepest corners of your teeth and gums that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. They’ll also thoroughly examine your mouth to identify any potential issues so they can be treated before they grow more severe.
By keeping up with these two simple guidelines, you can maintain a healthy, sparkling smile for life.
If you’ve lost a tooth, or multiple teeth, the best treatment option for your health is typically dental implants. Since they’re anchored to your jawbone, dental implants are the only tooth replacement that stimulates healthy bone growth in addition to restoring your smile. They’re also natural-looking, easy to clean, and can last a lifetime with proper care.
If you’ve recently suffered from tooth loss, Dr. Brock Barras in Lafayette, LA performs the entire implant procedure under one roof for your convenience. As a Misch Institute-trained dentist, you can count on him to provide comfortable care that delivers spectacular results.
If you’re missing a full arch of teeth, it’s not too late to save your smile. Thanks to advances in implant technology, dentists now have the ability to customize a complete denture and anchor it with just four dental implants, effectively restoring a full arch of teeth in one appointment. Best of all, All-on-4 maximizes your healthy bone tissue and eliminates the need for a bone graft.
The denture you receive during your initial visit will be temporary, and you’ll return to our office for your final restoration after osseointegration is complete. This means you can enjoy the benefits of a beautiful and healthy smile throughout your treatment, rather than continuing to live with missing teeth while you heal.
Dr. Jim Eggleston offers All-on-4 treatment at his practice in Turlock, CA. With over 20 years of experience and hundreds of hours of continuing education behind him, you can rest assured that your new implant dentures will look stunning.
LANAP® Gum Surgery
If you’ve been living with missing teeth for a while, there’s a good chance your gums are infected. Before you can restore your smile with dental implants, you’ll need clean, healthy gum tissue. While traditional gum surgery can damage your healthy tissue and cause pain, LANAP offers a far less invasive alternative that doesn’t require a scalpel.
LANAP surgery involves using a specialized laser to target the infected areas of your gums, removing harmful bacteria without cutting into your healthy tissue. It’s pain-free and doesn’t require stitches or sedation, meaning you can drive yourself home and resume normal activities the following day.
Since this technology is so advanced, LANAP surgery isn’t widely available. However, it’s worth seeking out a specialist to reap the benefits of this innovative treatment. Dr. Roman Shlafer is proud to be one of only 11 dentists in all of Michigan to offer LANAP treatment, and he has an outstanding nearly perfect Google Reviews score of 4.9 stars.
Protect Your Smile From Tooth Loss
As you can see, tooth loss is far more than a cosmetic issue. In fact, missing teeth can impact several aspects of your health and even lead to life-threatening consequences without proper treatment. If you lose a tooth, or even a full arch of teeth, make sure to seek out the appropriate treatment with a qualified specialist as soon as possible.