The Negative Effects of Missing Teeth

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Tooth loss is detrimental to oral and overall health and may occur as a result of accident, injury, poor oral hygiene standards, tooth decay and gum disease. Losing one or more teeth may have negative consequences that include further weakening oral health and general health complications.


1. Improper bite and jaw disorders
The gap left by one or more missing teeth causes an imbalance of orthodontic or dental pressure within the mouth. The teeth no longer bite together as they would with a full set of upper and lower dentition. Incorrect bite may lead to orthodontic conditions, such as misaligned teeth and malocclusion. The entire jaw may become impacted leading to a clicking jaw or improper temporomandibular joint (TMJ) function. TMJ disorders may cause pain that radiates throughout the face, head, neck and back. Migraine is often linked to TMJ conditions.


2. Damage to tooth structure and gum tissue
When teeth do not bite together correctly, pressure is placed on other teeth and gum tissue that may cause wear or trauma. Teeth may be at risk of fracture, chipping or breaks and damage may occur to existing teeth restorations. Gum tissue may become sensitized and inflamed. Damaged teeth and gums raise risk of developing gum disease and tooth loss.


3. Further tooth and bone loss
A damaged tooth is more likely to become infected as plaque and bacteria colonises around and within the tooth. Infected dental pulp may lead to an abscess or infected tooth root canals. The dental pulp houses the tooth’s nerves and blood supply. When infection sets in, toothache may start. Should the nerves become damaged, the entire tooth may not be saved even with root canal treatment.
An infected tooth may spread infection through the blood supply and tooth root canals causing further potential tooth loss. Oral diseases, such as Periodontal Disease, cause disintegration of the periodontal ligament that connects teeth to the jaw bone, causing further bone loss.


4. Systemic infection
Oral infection may spread through the tooth’s blood supply and root canals to the rest of the body. Systemic infections weaken the body’s immunity, increasing vulnerability to disease. Poor immunity, infection and diseases may result in cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, cancers and a range of other health complications or disabilities.


5. Poor chewing ability and nutrition
Improper bite caused by missing teeth reduces chewing function and ability. The result is that certain foods become less edible, narrowing food choices and nutrition. If missing teeth are not replaced, an individual may experience malnutrition and health disorders as a consequence. A lack of vitamins and minerals weakens organ and bone function.


6. Facial volume loss
Missing teeth gaps and bone loss gives the face a sunken, drawn and tired look that detracts from natural beauty and youthfulness, speeding up the effects of aging.


7. Pain and discomfort
These negative impacts of missing teeth may cause much pain and discomfort that affects a person’s sense of wellbeing, ability to partake in work and enjoy life’s activities.


8. Emotional and psychological distress
Pain, poor oral condition and weakening physical health may impact emotional and psychological health. Some people, as a result, develop mental health conditions such as depression. Loss of interest in relationships with others and life may follow where tooth loss causes pain, distress and poor health.
You can learn more about missing teeth at orthodontics Harley Street and learn about how many of these issues can be treated with modern braces.

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