Losing Teeth & The Problems Of Missing Teeth

Posted on Mar 02, 2015 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Contrary to what many older adults think, losing natural teeth is not a normal part of the aging process. Periodontal (gum) disease is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss and is easily preventable with simple measures applied on a daily basis.

Those with the highest susceptibility to gum disease are…
•    Males over the age of 35
•    Adults who fail to have professional dental care
•    Not brushing teeth
•    Smoking
•    Having diabetes, high blood pressure or rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Teeth most commonly lost because of gum disease are in the front of the mouth rather than back teeth.

Although health issues such as diabetes and arthritis can make you more vulnerable to develop gum disease, this doesn’t mean you cannot take measures to overcome risk factors. Too, instances like smoking and twice-daily tooth brushing are choices you make.

Missing teeth compromises the appearance of a person’s smile, causing them to become self-conscious about smiling.  While the esthetic repercussions of missing teeth are significant, dental challenges caused by missing teeth are even more problematic. The space left by missing teeth needs to be filled to avoid teeth drifting.  Drifting teeth have a long list of challenges to oral health and the appearance of your smile, including:

• Compromised chewing efficiency
• The tooth above or below the missing tooth growing too long
• Neighboring teeth moving out of alignment
• More challenges with food accumulation, which promotes bacterial growth
• Uneven chewing patterns, which strains jaw joints and can lead to worn teeth, tooth fractures and chips, clenching and grinding, and headaches
• Loss of jaw bone mass in the extracted area
• Facial changes and biting/chewing problems in the area of tooth loss
• Increased incidences of accidental tongue biting & ulceration

When a tooth is lost, it is imperative that the tooth be replaced, preferably soon after. Dental implants not only restore the look and feel of a natural tooth, they recreate the presence of a tooth root in the jaw bone. This helps halt bone loss and protects your facial structure and the natural alignment of your bite.

If you have lost teeth, contact us about regaining the look, feel and function of a confident smile through dental implants. Call (828) 274-9440 for a consultation.

Recent Posts