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Fast Facts About Missing Teeth

15th March 2022

5 Facts Every Person with Tooth Loss Should Know

It’s possible that we take our teeth for granted – but they don’t last forever and once you have your adult set, if you lose a tooth, you lose one for good. 

Losing a tooth as well as multiple teeth in the UK is common with three in four adults having at least one tooth extracted according to dentalhealth.org.

But what happens when you lose a tooth – and what if it’s in a visible portion of your mouth?

Hopefully, this article will convince you that a missing tooth, wherever its position is hugely problematic and will need to be replaced within six months to avoid further future complications.

The numbers

  • Three-quarters of people in the UK are without a full set of natural teeth.
  • 14.8% of people have no natural teeth at all.
  • 21% of adults experience problems eating because of their teeth.
  • Almost 3 million tooth extractions were performed on adults in 2018-19 on the NHS.
  • 6% of adults in the UK have no natural teeth; most of them wear dentures.
  • A further 13% of adults wear partial dentures.

before and after implants

Facts about tooth loss

Here’s what patients experiencing single tooth loss need to know:

Teeth move and shift out of place

When you have a gap that’s caused because of tooth loss, the remaining teeth will shift and move into the new gap.

Additional pressure is placed onto the remaining teeth making them prone to fractures.

Another after-effect is that the remaining shifted teeth become crooked and out of place.

And having crooked teeth comes with its own array of dental issues; they cause poor and improper bites, which in turn makes chewing more difficult.

Tooth loss more often than not moves to periodontal disease

The gap in the mouth left by tooth loss becomes the perfect place for bacteria to breed, grow and thrive.

Also, when you brush your teeth, you’ll likely skip past the space as it is a challenging space to clean that does not feel natural. But this only makes the problem worse.

Bacteria in the mouth can grow at an alarmingly fast rate, which spreads to the gums causing advanced gum disease otherwise referred to as periodontal disease.

To make matters even worse, the infection in the gums often spreads to nearby teeth, which increases the likelihood of other teeth becoming loose, wobbly or decayed.

tooth loss is a consequence of gum disease

Bone loss is a huge reality

When you lose a tooth, the bone in the mouth weakens and loses density – and whilst this does not sound alarming, it’s a very serious issue.

Bone, like teeth, does not grow back and if you lose a significant amount of bone in the jaw there is no support for any remaining teeth or facial structures like cheeks.

Over time, bone loss can affect the shape of your entire jaw, shifting the chin upward and angling it to point forward – and dentures do nothing to encourage healthy jawbone densities.

Within just a few months of losing a tooth, the bone would have already been affected, which might put you at risk for receiving tooth loss solutions like dental implants in the future.

Tooth loss causes the development of TMD

When teeth shift and bone loss occurs, the development of temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMJ) begins.

The painful condition is caused due to damage the muscles and joints that control your jaw. So, when the jaw shifts, there is incorrect alignment between the lower and upper arches.

If you have tooth loss and experience jaw pain, clicking or popping in the jaw or headaches, you might have developed TMD.

Book an appointment with the dentist.

dental implant team

Experts in tooth loss

As pointed out above, adult tooth loss has detrimental consequences to your overall oral condition and the future of your oral health.

Not only can you expect negative consequences for your smile, but also for your self-esteem as your oral condition begins to worsen with time – and if there’s one thing we can tell you as professional dentists, is that the longer you leave it, the worse off you’ll likely be.

For example, if you want to receive dental implants (the world’s leading tooth replacement option), and you have low jaw bone density, gum disease or crooked teeth then these are components that will need to be looked at and treated prior to implant placement.

Talk to our dentists.

Sources:

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