Modern dentistry had progressed to such an extent today that it has become commonplace to seek immediate advice on improving and restoring dental imperfections. One of the common causes of going for a dental check-up is missing teeth. More and more patients are willing to spend a few extra dollars to restore the normal function, comfort, speech, aesthetics and health of the mouth after tooth loss. It is unsurprising that only about 10% population have excellent oral health while the rest is battling with problems of tooth ache, cavities, gingivitis, plaque etc. Thankfully the continual research on developing improved diagnostic tools and treatments have helped dentists to achieve comparative success in handling dental challenges.
Why Tooth Loss Distresses Most People
One of the most obvious reasons why missing tooth distresses people is that it spoils the aesthetics of the face. Tooth loss has an immediate effect on the way you look and over a period of time changes the facial structure too. It can have a deep psychological effect on a person.
Tooth loss also forces the bones to restructure, rebuild and remodel themselves. Teeth act as a stimulating factor that maintains the form and density of the bone. Once the tooth comes off, it exposes the bone. The external width, height and bone volume starts losing henceforth. In the first year after tooth loss, there is a 25% decrease in bone width and over the next few years, there can be a 4 millimeters decrease in height.
Tooth loss has another effect. It gradually decreases the gum tissue and impairs the ability to chew and speak. Since tooth is a vital part of the body, its loss has gradual effect on a person’s lifestyle.
Tooth loss can also decrease the distance between the nose and chin. In older people, the lower third of the face often collapses, gradually. Having no tooth support, the chin becomes hollow. Loss of more teeth can also make a person’s jaw vulnerable to fractures. If a person’s back teeth come off, it can also affect the ‘bite’. The front teeth is often squashed and pushed forward (again resulting is loss of aesthetics). Many people also complain of lips sagging and tongues spreading.
What Causes Tooth Loss
There are several causes of tooth loss, some of which are mentioned below.
Oral Hygiene – Dentists continue to advice the young and old to keep up their brushing and flossing habits. Brushing the teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day is important if you want to keep your teeth healthy for long. Irregular habits can lead to periodontal diseases that can result to tooth loss.
Tooth Decay – Tooth decay is often a result of cavities and plaque. When a tooth is deeply affected, it irritates the inner pulp and eventually the roots. A decaying tooth should be immediately filled, otherwise it could come off very easily.
Improper Eating Habits –Our teeth needs a continuous supply of calcium. But if our diet doesn’t provide the mineral, it can only lead to problems of tooth loss. Moreover, a diet which only consists of fast food and sugary acids can also easily damage the teeth and gums.
Bruxism – If you have the habit of grinding or clenching your teeth very often, you should be warned about its effects. Putting excess force of the teeth (by grinding and clenching it) forces the supporting tissues to come off. This makes the bones attached to a tooth loose, making it susceptible to breakage.
Crowded Teeth – Another reason for tooth loss is the way they are positioned. Crowded teeth, that is, teeth that are placed too close to each other are more susceptible to breaking off.