There is one dental issue that is overlooked by patients, and that is the issue of missing teeth. Once natural teeth are lost, some patients may look further into which teeth replacement options are suitable for them. Others choose to live with the gaps left open because of tooth loss, not realising the devastating impact this can have on the quality of life they experience.
It is those patients who recognise the dangers of missing teeth to their oral health and those who begin to experience the challenges linked to tooth loss who seek consultations for artificial dental appliances like dental implants Hertfordshire.
Choosing not to address missing teeth with appropriate solutions thinking there is no harm done poses a serious threat to not only the person’s oral health but their general wellbeing too. Some consequences may be immediately felt, like difficulty in eating and speaking. But there are also real threats that will present themselves further down the line unless appropriate action is taken. Replacing lost adult teeth should be seen as a matter of urgency rather than a ‘nice-to-have’ convenience.
The real dangers of tooth loss
The reason why dentists urge patients to have gaps left open by lost teeth quickly filled in with quality solutions is to avoid the undesirable consequences that arise due to an incomplete dental arch. Patients may experience a devastating impact on their physical health as well as mental and emotional health.
A public health issue that continues to be of concern in the UK is malnutrition, and it is the elderly who are largely affected by it. One of the factors that contribute to this long-standing problem is tooth loss.
When natural teeth are lost, the person’s eating function is interrupted. They may experience pain when eating or find that they can no longer eat certain foods. Grinding down food properly before swallowing helps digestion and the absorption of nutrients to take place more efficiently and effectively. A body that does not receive the adequate nutrition it needs is considered to be malnourished, and the consequences that follow include poor immune health, slow healing times and lack of energy to carry out everyday tasks.
Next to physical health is the concern of dental health. Dental health may be impacted in several ways: further tooth loss, gum disease and loss of jawbone quality. Vacant spots in the dental arch open the way for neighbouring teeth to move out of position and create unwanted orthodontic problems. These empty sockets create a problem for gums by providing an ideal environment in which bad bacteria can thrive. Thirdly, jawbone quality is lost when the stimulation provided by tooth roots is lost.
In addition to mouth health and function, tooth loss also affects facial aesthetics. Tooth loss can quickly transform a pleasant smile into an undesirable one. One’s level of confidence is heavily influenced by their appearance, so having a healthy smile does offer life-changing benefits; opportunities to make more money, make friends and find love look so much better when one’s confidence levels improve. The Oral Health Foundation tends to agree, offering the perspective that a healthy smile should be seen as a desirable personal asset.