Loss of their baby teeth is expected in children, but when adults lose their permanent teeth, this can raise a number of problems that threaten their dental, physical and mental health. Tooth loss in adulthood even in the elderly is not a given. Adults can easily retain all of their natural teeth throughout their lifespans. But this is only a reality for those who have adopted life-long pro-dental habits.
According to oral health statistics in the UK, 74 per cent of adults have at least one tooth missing. Depending on the location of the teeth lost, adults can expect to experience a myriad of problems that can affect their daily life and overall quality of life. These challenges will continue until they receive one of the numerous dental devices to replace missing teeth such as dental implants Brentwood.
Missing teeth challenges that affect dental function
Strong healthy teeth are needed to ensure good dental function that helps to look after physical health and communication with others.
The masticatory function is the natural function of teeth. In order for food to be digested for nutrient absorption, it needs to be ground down into digestible pieces. Without the ability to bite and chew properly, there is a real risk to the physical body’s functioning and ability to maintain a strong immune system to fend off illness and disease.
Not being able to speak clearly is another natural consequence of tooth loss. Most adults become self-conscious about the way they pronounce words which leads to a loss of confidence in communicating with others.
Missing teeth challenges that affect oral health
A number of serious oral health problems can follow tooth loss.
An unexpected threat is teeth shifting out of their natural position due to the gap left vacant. The dental arch is so designed that teeth are packed snugly next to each other to form a sort of support for each other. It has been found that when one tooth falls out or is extracted, this can cause the adjacent teeth to shift out of line. As a result, missing teeth can lead to an increased risk of orthodontic problems needing further dental care.
Another concern is the loss of jawbone density. The roots of teeth not only keep them secure in the mouth, but they also provide another vital function – that of protecting jawbone health. The jawbone needs stimulation from the dental roots to continue to grow. Without this stimulation, jawbone quality is lost and bone recession begins. Over time, bone recession can lead to further tooth loss and changes in facial structure.
Orthodontic problems are a common concern linked to gum disease, but so are missing teeth. The gaps left unfilled in the dental arch create a haven for disease-causing bacteria to thrive in. From these open sockets, bad bacteria can reach the vulnerable layers of the tooth structures causing inflammation and infections.
And of course, the most obvious challenge of missing teeth is the changes in dental appearance. No one likes a gap-toothed smile and the self-consciousness attached to having one leads to a drop in confidence.
There is one way to avoid all the challenges linked to missing teeth and that is to opt for a suitable teeth replacement device.