After years of advising patients how important proper dental care is, I’d like to put all the information together for you.
Teeth play an important role not only in looking appealing but mainly in nutrition and general health. Teeth allow you to follow a healthy diet and stay well nourished by preparing the food you eat for swallowing and digestion. However loss or damage of teeth can have several hidden consequences-
ON GENERAL HEALTH-
The nutrition of elderly people is of growing interest to many health professionals. Missing teeth results in limited food choices. Thus, nutritional changes begin to cause medical problems and affect your general well being. Even after the loss of one tooth, the jaw bone irreversibly changes. Without chewing pressure to stimulate the bone it begins to dissolve away immediately after extraction and continues forever unless any prosthesis is placed;
TOOTH DRIFTING AND DESTRUCTION OT THE REMAINING TEETH-
When all the teeth are present they support each other much like the bricks in a roman archway.
When some teeth are missing, the opposite teeth have no “counter acting force” and will erupt upward into the mouth. When no back teeth are touching the stress is now placed on the front teeth, this ‘overloads’ them and forces them to move forward and outward. When back molars are missing the damage is even more serious.
The back chewing teeth begin to erupt down into the empty spaces where the opposite molar teeth are missing. The chewing forces have shifted to the front teeth and due to overloaded stress the front teeth begin to flare and fan apart creating spaces.
The fanning and spaces get worse over a period of time. This ‘’fanning out’’ and ‘’opening of the front spaces’’ eventually leads to loosening and gum disease and the loss of the front teeth.
Even a single missing teeth can lead to drift (this is just like taking a brick out of an arch way and seeing the arch collapse). That one missing tooth can set you up for a “domino effect” of losing teeth for the rest of your life. Gum disease due to the movement and misalignment of the teeth can cause more tooth loss and decay.
CHANGES IN SPEECH-
Speech is a very sophisticated autonomous, and unconscious activity. They are intimately related as the mouth, lower jaw, lips, teeth and tongue are used for both activities. Any alteration of these structures will inevitably mediate a disturbance in the system.
HEADACHE FROM MISSING TEETH-
Without the support of back chewing teeth, as the teeth randomly drift, unusual dental bites develop that cause excessive stress and damage to the joints (TMJ) that connect the two jaw bones with pain and headaches being a common side effect.
FACIAL COSMETIC PROBLEMS-
The deterioration of the jaw bones affects the appearance of how the face “drapes” over the bone. Facial sagging makes you look older, which is due to shrinkage in the upper and lower jaw bones further it may cause profound emotional effects on individual.
NEED TO REPLACE LOST TEETH-
Considering all the various consequences due to loss of teeth, it is necessary to do our best to keep our own teeth as long as we can.
But if it’s necessary to have them removed, the artificial replacements for the natural teeth must be planned because the body cannot function properly if some of the important organ involved in speech, swallowing and mastication are lost.
Common approaches to replacing a lost tooth are: the fixed partial dentures, crowns , bridges, removable partial dentures and implants. The most appropriate for you will depend on a variety of factors that you should discuss with your dentist.