There are many different causes of tooth loss. Certain diseases, sports injuries, birth defects, and gum problems can each result in lost or weakened teeth and even jawbone loss. Tooth and bone loss is not only noticeably inconvenient and uncomfortable, but it can cause many future health and dental problems.
Diet And Nutritional Concerns
If you have missing teeth or no teeth at all, you may have a much more difficult time chewing and eating properly. While this may not seem like a serious concern, overall health can be greatly affected by inadequate nutritional support. Without the essential ability to chew properly, diet may become limited to only soft foods that are easily swallowed. With such a limited diet, it may be difficult to receive an adequate supply of nutrition. Indigestion and weight loss, among other concerns, may come as a result.
Severe tooth loss can have a large effect on speech. Many sounds, including the sounds made by s, n, and th, are made by touching the tongue against the teeth. If your teeth are not properly set in place, you may have a very difficult time making these common sounds, potentially resulting in a lisp.
Missing teeth can also effect the placement and size of the tongue. Without teeth to hold the tongue in place, it may broaden to fill in more of the open space. A thicker tongue may make clear speech more difficult.
In addition to helping you speak and eat, teeth also stimulate the jawbone. If this natural stimulation is disrupted, the alveolar bone (the area of the jaw that holds teeth in place) may start to deteriorate as it is no longer required. If your jawbone becomes severely deteriorated, you may be unable to use dentures or other dental prosthetics because there will not be adequate bone support.
Head And Neck Pain
When teeth fall out, misalignment of existing teeth may occur. Without their natural counterpart, remaining teeth often begin to shift. This type of misalignment may result in serious head and neck pain.
In addition to health concerns, teeth also play a significant role in a person’s physical appearance. When bone and tooth loss becomes severe, a person’s total facial structure can become altered. Without a natural support system, mouths and cheeks may become sunken in, causing a much older and often unnatural physical appearance.