A reported 1 in 5 Americans over age 65 have none of their original teeth left. This is a large portion of the senior population, and many other elderly Americans suffer from other forms of tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to a complete loss of teeth. Accidents and illness can lead to tooth loss, too. And tooth loss can lead to a number of health issues.
Getting regular dental care and replacing missing teeth can stop this harmful cycle and help you overcome the effects of tooth loss. At The Glen Dental in San Jose, California, Dr. Aman Bhullar and Dr. Donald Pepper are dedicated to offering implants and other tooth replacement options to patients who need them. This includes teeth-in-a-day and full-mouth solutions.
Missing teeth impact both your physical and mental health. Whether you’re missing one or all of your teeth, replacements are important. Here’s why.
Your teeth are vital to eating healthy
Without the ability to chew properly, eating becomes a challenge instead of an enjoyable necessity. Many people with tooth loss also avoid eating, or eat the same foods every day, leading to malnutrition.
People who don’t replace missing teeth often gravitate toward softer foods that are easier to eat, instead of prioritizing foods that are full of important nutrients. They also tend to swallow food without properly chewing, which can cause indigestion.
Your teeth act as anchors that prevent bone loss
Perhaps one of the most devastating effects of missing teeth is the deterioration of the jawbone. When your teeth are healthy, the root structure acts as a firm foundation for the tooth itself while also stimulating the bone tissue in your jaw.
If tooth roots are missing, your jawbone starts to undergo resorption. This can make permanent replacement options such as dental implants more difficult. The longer you go without replacing missing teeth, the more bone loss you experience.
Oral hygiene and health decline with missing teeth
When even one tooth is missing, the relationship between the remaining teeth changes. Healthy teeth shift and move into odd positions, making it difficult to brush and floss properly. When you can’t remove food particles or plaque buildup, fending off tooth decay and gum disease can become an uphill battle.
Replacing a missing tooth helps restore the natural order in your mouth and makes it easier to maintain the rest of your teeth.
Your smile is tied to your emotional state
Along with the medical benefits of replacing missing teeth, there’s the matter of appearance and self-confidence. For many, looking good makes you feel good, and that’s a large part of your overall well-being.
Missing teeth can cause you to avoid laughing, smiling, and talking with others. As we mentioned, a lack of teeth also causes your jawbone to deteriorate, which creates a sunken look. This can lead to self-consciousness, low self-confidence, and depression.
Whether you’ve lost one tooth or all of them, replacement options like dental implants might be the solution to your tooth loss. You can contact The Glen Dental team by calling 408-816-1008 or requesting an appointment online.