Knocked-out teeth are a common sports injury, but it’s also possible to lose teeth as a result of decay or disease. Sometimes, a tooth becomes damaged so badly by decay that the best course of action is an extraction.
If you’re one of the 120 million Americans who are missing a tooth, you’re not alone. The American College of Prosthodontists estimates that this number will jump up to 200 million in the next 15 years.
The problem with missing teeth is that they can affect your oral health, your mental wellness, and your overall health. That’s why Mehrnoosh Darj, DDS, wants you to know the problems that missing teeth can cause and what we can do here at Dr. Darj Dental to restore your oral health.
Missing teeth can pose two problems when eating:
- It may be more difficult for you to chew, bite, or grind food
- Sharp or pointed food can poke your gums and irritate them
Not only does this make eating less enjoyable, but it can increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies. For instance, if it’s challenging or uncomfortable for you to chew raw crunchy vegetables, meat, or hard food such as nuts and apples, you may not consume an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals.
Even if you’re missing only one tooth, your teeth can shift out of place. Dental shifting happens when your remaining teeth move toward the gap created by missing teeth. Even a subtle shift can affect your bite. In addition to misaligned teeth, dental shifting can also make it harder for you to floss if your teeth become crowded.
Normally, your tooth roots stimulate your jawbone and encourage it to grow. However, when a tooth is missing, jawbone atrophy occurs in that area of your jaw. As your jaw continues to deteriorate, it can make your face structure appear more sunken.
Your teeth are essential for creating certain sounds, especially the “voiced th” ( /ð/ ) and “unvoiced th” ( /θ/ ) sounds. When teeth are missing, you might find it difficult to form certain words clearly.
Not surprisingly, missing teeth can take a toll on your self-esteem and mental wellness, especially if you’re missing any anterior teeth. According to research published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, low self-esteem related to missing teeth can affect your performance and can make some people less likely to engage in social activities.
If your low self-esteem keeps you from smiling, it could affect your success in the workplace or on job interviews. Failing to smile during a job interview can limit your job prospects, according to the American College of Prosthodontists.
Restoring your teeth and your confidence
Understandably, it’s overwhelming to deal with the host of problems caused by missing teeth. Restoring missing teeth can improve your oral health, boost your confidence, restore clear speech, and make it easier to eat your favorite foods again.
Here at Dr. Darj Dental, we offer a variety of replacement options. Depending on how many teeth you’re missing and your own personal preferences, Dr. Darj may recommend:
- Dental implants
- Implant-supported bridges
To find out which option is right for you, call our office in El Paso, Texas, today at 915-213-4097. You can also use our website to book a consultation and get started with state-of-the-art dental care.