Most adults start off with a full set of 32 teeth. All the incisors, canines, premolars and molars are in place. But by the time they reach their fifties and sixties, many people are missing at least one tooth. And it gets worse: one in four people aged over 65 in the U.S. has lost all their teeth.
Why we Lose Teeth
There are a few reasons why people lose their teeth:
- Gum disease
Reasons to Replace a Missing Tooth
Are you wondering why you should do it? The answer is yes. Even though the tooth that you are missing may be at the back of your mouth and isn’t noticeable from the outside, over time you may find that it bothers you in many ways. Missing teeth can cause more dental damage. Missing teeth also lead to a loss of self esteem and this can lead to loneliness.
Here’s what can happen if you don’t replace a missing tooth.
Your Jaw Bone is Damaged
When you lose a tooth, your gum and jaw bone are not stimulated in the way they used to be. As a result, your jaw bone starts shrinking and your gum pulls back. Two things then happen: Your neighboring teeth are weakened to the point that they collapse and teeth in the opposite jaw start growing into the gap.
You Look Older
If you are missing teeth and your jaw bone shrinks, your cheeks and lips fall in because they no longer have support from the inside. Your cheeks become hollow and saggy and your face looks old and wrinkly.
You can Lose More Teeth
If you are missing teeth, you may actually find it harder to clean places in your mouth. this means that plaque can build up and gum infections can start. This can lead to the loss of more teeth. You may find yourself covering your mouth with your hand when you talk.
When you don’t have the opposite tooth to bite down onto, you may start experiencing dull pain that leads to headaches.
Speech and Chewing Problems
Without all of your teeth, you may have trouble speaking clearly. This impacts your self-esteem. You may also have problems chewing. This can make you avoid foods that you should be eating for good health.
Your Sinuses are Affected
When you lose a tooth tooth from the top back jaw, your sinus cavity can expand and this erodes your jaw bone. Without an adequate anchor, you may lose more teeth.
When you lose a tooth, you raise the risk of losing more. So make sure that you replace missing teeth.