Tooth loss is more common than most people realize. In fact, more than 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Some patients with missing teeth don’t seek treatment, viewing it as nothing more than a cosmetic disturbance. However, if left untreated, tooth loss can have significant effects on your long-term health.
There are many different factors that can result in tooth loss. One of the most common is poor oral hygiene habits. Failing to brush and floss daily or skipping out on your dental checkups may leave you prone to tooth decay, which often leads to losing teeth without treatment. High-sugar diets, smoking, and drug use have all been linked to tooth loss as well.
Many patients lose their teeth in an accident. Anything involving trauma to the face, such as a high-speed car crash or a collision in sports, can lead to tooth loss. Even biting down on a hard surface can permanently damage your teeth.
Your jawbone and gum tissues naturally weaken as you get older. Unfortunately, this means elderly people are at very high risk for tooth loss. Almost one in five adults over the age of 65 are missing all of their teeth.
Without treatment, missing teeth can have a serious impact on your health. Symptoms include:
Periodontal Disease — Periodontal disease is a type of severe gum infection that forms pockets between your teeth and gum tissue. Empty tooth sockets are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria that inflame the tissue and spread through your gums. Because of this, tooth loss greatly increases your chances of developing periodontal disease.
Deteriorating Jawbone — When you lose a tooth, that area of your jawbone becomes inactive. Without the stimulation it needs, the bone will weaken and rapidly lose density. In just the first year after losing a tooth, that area of your jawbone can decrease in volume by 25%. In addition to causing discomfort, this will add wrinkles to your face and hollow out your cheeks.
Cardiovascular Problems — The bacteria that live in empty tooth sockets can spread throughout the body, even into your heart and arteries. This causes inflammation, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes have all been linked to tooth loss as well.
Missing teeth affect more than just your health — they also affect your social life. Gaps in your smile can damage your confidence, preventing you from making new friends and building strong relationships. In addition, feeling insecure about your appearance often leads to lower self-esteem in general. This can interfere with your ability to function and impact your overall quality of life.
At our implant center in Bethlehem, PA, Dr. Chaudhry is happy to offer high-quality dental implants to restore your smile. Our natural-looking implants will allow you to speak and chew comfortably without the hassle of removal. Dental implants are also the only restoration solution that protects you from the dangers of tooth loss. Learn more about our dental implant process.
The effects of tooth loss only worsen over time, so don’t wait to seek treatment for your missing teeth. Dental implants will revitalize your smile and maintain your oral health.
Contact us today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Chaudhry — your new smile awaits.
Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry
Lehigh Valley Oral Surgery and Implant Center
2571 Baglyos Circle, Suite B23
Monday: 7:30AM – 3PM
Tuesday: Emergencies by appointment
Wednesday: 8:30AM – 5PM
Thursday: 8:30AM – 5PM
Friday: 7:30AM – 3PM