7 Ways Missing Teeth Affect Your Quality of Life
A missing tooth is not just a missing tooth, and replacing it is not just a cosmetic solution. Yes, replacing your missing teeth will restore the aesthetic appeal of your smile, but it will also have a positive impact on your quality of life. The opposite is also true: If you’re procrastinating replacing your missing teeth, it could be impacting your oral health, your appearance, and even your mental health. Here are 7 ways missing teeth can affect your quality of life.
#1. Embarrassment and self-consciousness
Even if you have the brightest and most charming smile, your missing tooth will steal the show. Going through life feeling self-conscious of your smile, or feeling the need to hide it behind your hand means missing out on important opportunities for uncontained self-expression and non-verbal communication with others. This can have a sneaky, detrimental effect on your self-esteem and your quality of life.
#2. Jawbone atrophy
The teeth and the jaw have a symbiotic relationship. The jawbone holds the teeth in place, keeping them strong and stable while you bite and chew. And the teeth that are embedded in the jaw stimulate the bone through the pressure of biting and chewing, helping it to stay strong and healthy. A missing tooth signals to the body that the surrounding jawbone is no longer needed. The bone begins to dissolve almost immediately, within 4 to 6 months following extraction. As much as 25% of the jawbone can disappear within the first year. Dental implants are the only tooth-replacement option that keeps this from happening.
#3. Changes in bite alignment
Missing teeth create gaps in the mouth that can cause the remaining teeth to shift out of place. This results in several potential complications, including crooked teeth, crowded teeth, and changes in bite alignment. Bite problems can cause jaw pain, headaches, neck pain, and other issues that negatively affect your quality of life.
#4. Difficulties with eating
Even just a single missing tooth can make it difficult to chew. The space left by the tooth is vulnerable to pain caused by crispy or hard foods. Even if you do manage to chew tough or chewy foods without pain, doing so can cause excess pressure on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth, making them more vulnerable to fracture and loosening.
#5. Difficulties with speaking
When it comes to verbal language and communication, most people think mainly of the tongue and lips, but our teeth play a significant role as well. We use our teeth to control airflow when forming words, and the tongue strikes the teeth in the formation of various sounds as well. When teeth are missing, it often results in speaking difficulties.
#6. Aged appearance
A full smile is a sign of health and vitality. Your teeth and jawbone help create the foundation of your facial structure, but when missing teeth cause the jawbone to deteriorate, the face collapses in on itself, resulting in an aged appearance. When you replace your missing teeth with dental implants, it helps keep your jawbone strong and your face looking like you.
#7. Worry and anxiety about future complications
If you’ve ever gone a long time without a dental checkup, chances are you’re familiar with the low-grade anxiety that comes along with skipped dental visits: You know you should go, and you worry about what might happen if you don’t get around to scheduling an appointment. The same is true for missing teeth. You know you should replace them, and the longer you put it off, the more it weighs on your mind. If you replace your missing teeth with dental implants right away, you can relieve or prevent any anxiety related to future complications.
Implant specialist San Diego | Dr. Armin Hage at University Dental
If you’re looking for the best implant dentist in San Diego, you’ve come to the right place. At University Dental, you’re in the hands of Dr. Armin Hage, an award-winning implant specialist who has performed over 10,000 implant surgeries. Whether you need a dental implant for one tooth or the full-mouth dental implant procedure, we offer same-day treatment, so you can walk into University Dental with missing teeth, and walk out with a complete and perfect smile! For more information on our implant services or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hage, call University Dental at (619) 273-2565 today!