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The consequences of missing teeth

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Can missing teeth affect your health?

Missing teeth can be a serious confidence blow.

Many will be aware of the damage one or more missing teeth can do to one’s confidence, but the negative effects don’t stop there, and can even contribute to broader health risks.

When a tooth is no longer present, the gum loses a lot of its natural protection against debris, increasing the risk of gum disease.

Whilst very common among adults gum disease can have serious consequences, as it can inflame the gum and even cause further tooth loss.

Dr Ali Rifai, our leading dental implant specialist has years of experiencing providing missing tooth solutions for our patients in East Molesey, Kingston, Hampton and beyond.

Aware of the dire consequences, Dr Rifai has seen first-hand the effects that missing teeth can have on the condition of your oral health and hygiene.

That’s why it’s crucial to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible in order to protect and preserve the oral state.

Call us on 020 8224 7562 to speak to an expert.

Why is replacing missing teeth important?

“69.0% of people aged between 35 and 45 years have one tooth missing” – Referral Md

Further tooth loss often occurs as the neighbouring teeth attempt to fill the gap left by the missing tooth.

As they do, the gum gradually recedes until the teeth begin to loosen. This process typically continues until the teeth find new points of contact or fall out entirely.

These unwanted movements also create problems of their own; by creating new spaces in the mouth, food and debris get trapped, increasing the likelihood of periodontal disease later on.

The knock-on effects of tooth loss extend beyond the gums, however.

Teeth play a central role in the health and structure of the jaw. When teeth are missing, the result is often a reduction in jaw definition.

In the first year of tooth loss alone, the jaw experiences a 25% reduction.

This can lead to a significantly weaker profile and a more ‘aged’ appearance.

As the jawbone begins to contract, gum tissue starts to shrink as well, becoming increasingly vulnerable and eventually developing sore spots.

With the increase of space in the mouth, the tongue can also enlarge, creating further complications within the mouth.

Missing teeth are associated with poor general health problems

dental implant before and after image - why you need to replace missing teethTooth loss can have significant consequences for a person’s general health.

The main cause, and perhaps the most obvious, is the loss of chewing ability, with a study of denture wearers showing that nearly half exhibited a lower ability to chew correctly.

Chewing has been linked to better general health, including less reliance on medication and better diet.

Equally, studies indicate a strong correlation between good dental hygiene and reduced risk of heart and blood vessel disease.

Another impact of tooth loss, and one that is often overlooked, is the impact on mental health.

Tooth loss can be embarrassing for many, resulting in a loss of overall confidence.

One might begin avoiding certain situation such as kissing and eating in public or even avoid smiling altogether.

Anyone of these can be deeply damaging to a person’s wellbeing, and only compound the physical effects of tooth loss.

Is it necessary to replace missing teeth?

Replacing missing teeth is important.

Fortunately, the dental implants offered by The Gentle Dental provide the ideal solution to tooth loss.

By anchoring a new tooth within the jaw itself, there is no need for temporary and unreliable solutions such as dentures, and the procedure is simple and painless.

With this in mind, you may be wondering if dental implants are right for you.

The majority of healthy adults will qualify for dental implants. However, there are several potential exceptions.

These include those who have had radiotherapy to the jawline, those with gum disease and diabetes patients.

For patients experiencing gingivitis, gum disease or even periodontal disease will need to have these conditions treated prior to dental implants being fitted in order to ensure their long-term success.

If you do fall into one or more of these categories, it is still worth a consultation with The Gentle Dental, as every mouth is different.

Contact us to book an appointment.


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