Losing permanent, adult teeth isn’t a normal part of aging, despite what many older adults may believe. The leading cause of adult tooth loss is gum disease, which is easy to prevent by practicing good oral hygiene on a daily basis and scheduling regular dental visits. When a tooth is lost, even if it’s in a part of the mouth where it isn’t noticeable, it leads to a list of other potential oral health issues.
People at Higher Risk of Tooth Loss
Although age can play a factor in tooth loss due to gum disease, there are other elements that can increase the risk of gum disease including:
- Failing to have regular, professional dental care
- Not practicing good oral hygiene
- Having high blood pressure, diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
The most commonly lost teeth from gum disease are those in the front of the mouth, which means that the space left is noticeable and often embarrassing. Even though health issues such as diabetes may make a person more susceptible to gum disease, they can still take steps to overcome risk factors and make healthier choices including quitting smoking and practicing good oral hygiene including daily brushing and flossing.
Consequences of Missing Teeth
Missing teeth can make a person feel self-conscious about their smile, but the consequences go beyond cosmetic appearances. The space caused by a missing tooth can cause bigger problems than aesthetics when the nearby teeth begin to shift into the area. When teeth start to drift into that space, it causes issues such as:
- Nearby teeth shifting out of alignment
- Difficulty chewing and biting
- Jawbone mass loss
- Changes in facial appearance
- Improper chewing patterns, which cause strain on jaw joints, worn teeth, chips, fractures, headaches, tooth grinding and clenching
- Food accumulating in the space and promoting bacteria growth
- Teeth below or above the space growing longer
When a person loses a tooth due to trauma, injury or extraction, it’s important to seek a replacement option as soon as possible to prevent oral health problems. One of the best options for tooth replacement are dental implants, which restores the feel, function and look of natural teeth while also preventing jawbone loss and preserving facial structure and natural bite alignment.
Adult human teeth don’t regrow once lost so it’s important to address a missing tooth, even if it’s not easily visible. Explore the possibilities of dental implants to replace missing teeth and restore your smile by contacting Greater Baltimore Prosthodontics today.