Generally when we think of tooth loss, the first thing that comes to mind is the aesthetic change to a person’s face. Especially if a tooth is within the smile line, the missing tooth can be easily identified. Yet beyond this aesthetic, there emotional effects that are associated with tooth loss that can lead to different health concerns in the future. Here’s what you should know.
Causes of tooth loss
As we began to look into the emotional effects of tooth loss, we found that we needed more information on how tooth loss happens. We were able to consult with dentist Dr Kooner at the Green Apple Dental to get some insight to how tooth loss happens.
The primary cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease. This is when there are bacteria that run along the root of the tooth, resulting in bone loss. Once the bone loss happens, there is nothing to help keep the teeth in place and they become loose and fall out. One of the worst things about periodontal disease is that it doesn’t mean that you will lose just one tooth, but generally will lose multiple as the bone loss spreads along your jaw.
Another cause of tooth loss is active decay, known as cavities or caries. This is when bacteria begin to bore into your enamel, leaving holes and harming your teeth. Of course, you can always lose a tooth from eating something too hard for your teeth to adjust to, which may cause a broken tooth or it might cause a kind of dental sprain on your teeth.
Regardless of how the tooth loss happens, there is an emotional toll that comes along with it. Unfortunately, in society, there is a lot of prejudice and assumptions when we see someone missing a tooth. The prejudice varies, ranging from a question to your hygiene to an assumption in your education level.
As a result, people who have lost teeth have a tendency to smile less, trying to hide their shame from others. When you do not smile as much, your mentally will begin to decrease. People often develop self- esteem issues and try to avoid mirrors.
Other risks that come with tooth loss is the inability to eat freely as your diet can be impacted by your ability to chew well. Having a poorer or less healthy diet will also contribute to emotional distress, further exacerbating the problem.
Thankfully, there are things that you can do to either prevent tooth loss or replace the teeth that were lost. The solution for you will depend entirely on the problem that is causing so much trouble.
Implant technology has come a long way in the last two decades. Dentists can place an implant right in the jaw as it if were part of the jaw naturally, resulting in a new tooth that feels like the old one did. This is a good option if you lost your teeth by accident, but if you lose your teeth due to periodontal disease, the solutions may be different.
With periodontal disease, as we mentioned above, you lose your teeth because of bone loss along the jaw line. That means that there is not enough bone there to place an implant within the bone and if you still have an active case of the disease, and implant might fail, resulting in the same problem. There are bone grafts that can be completed to build the bone back up in the jaw, it still a long process that you would need to be prepared for.
Finally, dentures are the classic solution to tooth loss. This is the method that has been used for centuries. While dentures used to be made with porcelain, they are now made with the less expensive resin composite. While dentures do not live within your mouth they are designed to be handy when you need them most.
Finally, if you would like to address a missing tooth problem or a concern with loose teeth, it is time to consult with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to assist you in any way possible, whether it is replacing a tooth or aiming to get you a set of dentures.
If you are thinking that have perfect teeth is not for you, remember that you will have the most dental success if you do replace the teeth. Orthodontia is just one way to help your teeth turn into nice, even smile that we have come to expect from strangers.
The best thing to do is to talk to other patients to get a feel for what your next move is. You do not need to suffer from having a gap in your smile, but be patient and make the right choice.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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