Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

Why Missing Teeth Are No Laughing Matter

by Brett Clark

By the time people reach their middle age, very few of them have their original complement of teeth left. They may have focused on a poor diet when they were young, with far too many calories and sugar content and may have suffered a certain amount of deterioration as a consequence. Some people may have been particularly afraid to visit a dentist and decided not to replace any of their teeth when they were removed. However, they may now be realising the error of their ways and be thinking twice about that decision. If you're in this position, how can those missing teeth have such an effect on your daily life going forward?

Chewing Challenges

Some people have several teeth missing due to dental issues over the decades, and they may find that eating certain types of food can present a significant challenge. Foods that have a hard consistency may be difficult to chew, and this may result in significant pain when certain parts of the food come into contact with the gum instead of the teeth. Also, foods on the other end of the spectrum that are relatively soft can often penetrate the soft tissue wherever you have a "gap." Even though you may be good at cleaning, issues with deterioration can subsequently arise.

What Did You Say?

Do you sometimes find it difficult to pronounce certain words when you're having an ordinary conversation with somebody else? Believe it or not, this could be something to do with your teeth and more specifically, the lack thereof. For a moment, concentrate on what happens inside your mouth as you read this sentence aloud. As you will notice, your tongue and lips will move quite a lot and will come into contact with your teeth as they do so. It's not surprising that you will have difficulties with certain syllables or phrases if you don't have a full complement.

Changing Shape

As you can see, you may have difficulty with speaking and chewing if you don't do something about those missing teeth. There's more bad news, however -- the natural shape of your face may begin to change as the bones that make up your jaw start to deteriorate. This is partly caused by a phenomenon known as resorption, which is linked to decay and the absence of the supporting tooth.

Shifting Teeth

Furthermore, the teeth that surround the "gap" can start to move inward, as they are not constrained anymore. As they do so, this can cause even more difficulty with chewing and pronunciation and can present significant difficulties when you're trying to floss and clean.

How to Take Action

All told, it's a good idea for you to replace some of those missing teeth as soon as possible and you can do this in many different ways. Dentists will often recommend supporting bridges as one option for you to consider, but you should talk with the expert first, to plot your course of action.