You should have a lost tooth replaced as soon as possible. Not only for aesthetic reasons, because perfect teeth are part of a well-groomed appearance, but also because of medical reasons. As the saying goes, "health starts in the mouth!” The oral cavity should always be seen as a whole: teeth, the musculature of the cheeks, and the jaw joints are directly connected and influence each other. Below, we highlight some of the lesser known problems related to missing teeth.
1. Shifting Teeth
If you have a missing tooth, the neighbouring teeth can tip into a tooth gap, or the opposing tooth in the other jaw (the antagonist) can grow into the tooth gap. The result can be disturbances of the chewing function, orthopedic complaints (hip), and poorer digestion.
2. Muscle Tensions
If one tooth is missing, your muscles may tense up, which can lead to chronic headaches, facial pain, tinnitus ("ringing in the ears"), dizziness, neck tension, and back and hip problems. Further Reading: Post-Surgery Dietary Restrictions
3. Domino Effect
The loss of a tooth triggers a domino effect, eventually leading to the loss of further teeth. This may happen because of teeth misalignment caused by shifting teeth, an increased risk of cavities, the loss of jawbone, and other factors.
It is less well known that a complete and functional set of teeth also reduces the risk of dementia. The Hisayama Study has shown that for people with less than 20 teeth, the risk of dementia increases by 62%.
5. Alzheimer's Disease
The risk of Alzheimer's disease increases with tooth loss. Chewing with a largely complete set of teeth increases blood flow to the brain and oxygen levels in the blood. If a large portion of the teeth are missing, this can change the diet and insufficiently chewed food can have a negative impact.
If you’re missing one or multiple teeth, you can consider numerous teeth replacement options. We believe dental implants are the ideal restorations for missing teeth, but you can also consider alternatives such as bridges and partial or full dentures. Please contact a dentist to explore your teeth replacement options.
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