A missing tooth can have a great impact on your overall health, leading to numerous diseases and conditions.
Whether it’s because of an accident or neglected oral health, a missing tooth is not only impacting you aesthetically. A missing tooth may not bother you that much if it’s not noticeable. But a gap in your teeth can affect your overall health in ways that might surprise you. In fact, additional health problems are almost always present in persons with missing teeth. Let’s go through the processes in your body when you are missing a tooth or more.
- Gum Disease – One of the first consequences of a missing tooth is the increased risk of gum disease. Even if the missing tooth’s cause is not pre-existing gum disease, it can be triggered by the other teeth shifting their positions, and the gum is exposed and irritated repeatedly. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to an affected jaw bone, bacterial infections, additional tooth loss, and increased risks for other conditions.
- Decreased Capacity of Absorbing Nutrients – The more teeth a patient is missing, the harder it is for them to chew food properly and to digest it effectively. Digestion starts with the proper chewing of the food, and any impact on it can strain the digestive system. Patients with more missing teeth might adapt by eating less healthy foods, taking them in liquid or pureed form, which further affects digestion.
- The weakening of the Jaw Bone – A fact less known is that the jawbone absorbs nutrients as it’s being stimulated by pressure created when chewing. In a process called resorption, the bone portions that are no longer stimulated, because of the tooth loss, the tissue no longer receives the same amount of nutrients, and it weakens. This can lead to the need for bone transplants and other interventions.
- Impaired Speech – Our teeth not only help us with chewing our food, but they are essential in forming sounds. Many speech impediments are caused by misalignment of the teeth or tooth loss. This can affect your confidence, emotional distress, and difficulties socializing.
What Can You Do If You’re Missing a Tooth?
As you can see, missing a tooth can have a great impact on your overall health, leading to numerous diseases and conditions. Consult a dentist about it as soon as you can, and discuss possible options, like dental implants, dentures, or bridges.
If you are afraid of going to the dentist, then you should know that are various sedation options that can help you relax and better control your anxiousness. Get in touch with a St. Louis sedation dentist, discuss your needs, and find the best sedation option for your dental problem and health.
Although the fear of the dentist is real, it should no longer be an impediment to you getting the treatment you need. As you can see, one small missing tooth can cause numerous health problems in the long run.
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