Far-Reaching Impact of Tooth Loss
Tooth loss can occur for many reasons, and the process of tooth extraction can cause anxiety and discomfort. But, the psychological effects can last for years. About 70 percent of people in the United States are missing one or more teeth, so everyone should try to understand the far-reaching effects of tooth loss.
Severity of Impact
The number and location of missing teeth is a factor in the degree of impact the loss will have on a person. Loss of front teeth has the most emotional impact on a person.
Teeth affect the way we talk, and missing teeth can make it difficult to pronounce certain sounds. A change in speech impacts a person’s social interaction, and he or she may become self-conscious and depressed.
Teeth also affect our facial appearance. Teeth make a person look younger by filling out the jaw area. When multiple teeth are missing, the face sags inward, making the person appear older. This also affects a person’s social interaction and can lead to low self-esteem and depression.
Additional Dental Issues
Missing teeth can lead to additional dental problems, too. As teeth begin to move, teeth above or below the missing one may develop issues. A person may chew food exclusively on one side of their mouth, causing jaw soreness and other complications.
Ideally, when a tooth or teeth need to be removed, they are replaced. If the issue involves one tooth, oral professionals may implant a post and crown or bridges. The psychological effects of this depend on the person’s degree of satisfaction in the replacement tooth.
Ill-fitted crowns and bridges cause discomfort and trouble chewing, resulting in anxiety and frustration. Cleaning a bridge requires extra attention. If a person is not willing to adhere to an increased cleansing regimen, gum issues may arise.
Another option is dental implants. Implants are an effective solution for single tooth replacement or multiple teeth. With this solution the tooth both looks and functions just like a natural tooth.
Dentures may be used when all teeth are removed. A well-fitted denture is important, as ill-fitting dentures cause pain and make it difficult to eat. Denture wearers may be anxious about eating in public, and patients who suffer bone loss in their jaw have difficulty wearing dentures. A person with too much bone loss may not be a good candidate for dentures.
Absence of oral treatment often leads to avoiding social situations because of changes in appearance and speech, as well as difficulty eating. Contact Solace Oral Surgery to learn how we can restore your confidence with oral management and treatment.