Losing one’s teeth is more common than you might realize. In fact, nearly one in four of the 120 million people who are missing teeth don’t have any teeth at all. That number is staggering, especially when considering there are easily accessible dental procedures that can restore your mouth to a healthy, fully-toothed state. If you believe missing teeth is just a normal part of life, you are correct. Thanks to accidents, sports, and biting too hard into a popcorn kernel, tooth loss can happen. But if you believe there are no consequences to missing teeth, that is where you are wrong. Here’s why you should not consider missing teeth normal, and what you can do about it.
For adults, the loss of even one tooth can be problematic; even one missing tooth for an adult can result in any number of problems. For example, a missing tooth can cause bite pressure to shift onto other teeth that may force them to shift into the gap; this not only can cause plaque to build up, but can result in gum infections that lead to the loss of more teeth. You can also expect the bone that once surrounded that tooth to deteriorate and erode, affecting the structure and support of your mouth.
Hypodontia is an inherited condition, a developmental defect, in which very few permanent teeth develop. With hypodontia only six or fewer teeth appear. If due to hypodontia an adult has less than six teeth, the condition is referred to as oligondintia. When all teeth fail to emerge, it is referred to as anodontia. Hypodontia is a common condition, since it affects 20 percent of adults. However, it merits being seen by a dentist to determine the long-term affects these missing teeth can have on your overall dental health.
Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
When bacteria start to build up in your mouth – especially along the gumline and in the nooks and crannies between teeth – plaque and decay can start to build, destroying your teeth’s protective enamel, leaving the tooth vulnerable to disease, caviti and infection. Left untreated, the infection will cause sensitivity, pain and, eventually, the loss of the tooth.
Oral Cancers and Other Conditions
Oral cancer can be a devastating disease that can result in tooth loss, loss of the jaw, and in some cases, can be fatal. HPV (which causes oral cancer) and other sexually transmitted diseases can impact the health of your mouth. Leukemia, diabetes and AIDS, as well as stress and a diet that is low in nutrients can also result in tooth loss.
Tooth loss may be considered normal part of life, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply, if you use tobacco products, stop. Brush and floss daily, being sure to use proper technique to get under the gumline. If you engage in contact sports or a profession that puts your mouth at risk, employ proper safety procedures, to include wearing mouthguards and face masks. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, AIDS, or any other diseases that affect your oral health, be sure to consult with your dentist often. If you have old or silver fillings, be sure to ask your dentist if it’s time to replace them. Most importantly, if you do have missing teeth, consult with your dentist about any dental procedures – such as dentures, crowns, bridges and implants – that can restore your mouth to a healthy state.
Smile Restoration in Henderson
While losing a tooth can be a normal part of life, it doesn’t have to be. If you are in Henderson, Nevada and are seeking treatment options to restore your smile, look no further than Dedicated Dental of Henderson, where Drs. Dung Bui and Joanne Nguyen are experts at full mouth reconstruction, as well as other dental techniques that can replace missing teeth and restore the confidence a beautiful smile brings with it. If you are seeking family, pediatric, cosmetic dentistry or emergency care, call Dedicated Dental of Henderson today at (702) 566-5509, or request an appointment online