How Missing Teeth Change Your Life

Confused Woman with Question Marks Around Her Wondering about dental FAQ at Drs. Scheetz & Rekos: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of Ohio
Your teeth, while only a small part of your body, have many important jobs. They allow you to bite and chew food, speak properly and provide you with a beautiful smile. When you lose your teeth, even if it’s only one, replacement becomes essential. Drs. Scheetz & Rekos: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of Ohio offer several options for replacing missing teeth. However, why is a replacement so important in the first place?

Impaired Eating

Your teeth allow you to bite and chew your food. Without them, the ability to chew is greatly impaired. Not only can food get lodged in the empty spaces (which can increase your risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay), it also becomes very difficult to thoroughly chew your food.

Chewing your food is the very first step in digestion. When you are unable to properly chew your food, the digestive process is disrupted. After you swallow your food, your body is unable to access and absorb all of the nutrients that the food has to offer. This can lead to serious problems with your overall health, including malnutrition.

Believe it or not, your teeth play an important role in your ability to speak. The teeth control the flow of air and provide a surface for your tongue to touch. Both of these actions allow you to form certain sounds. Without your teeth, airflow cannot be stopped as necessary, which can cause a lisp. The more teeth you are missing, the worse off your speech becomes. In some cases, your speech can be so badly affected that it becomes difficult for those listening to you to understand what you are trying to tell them.

Effects on Teeth

When you lose teeth, even just one, there is a space left behind. All of your teeth work to keep one another in alignment. Space means that adjacent teeth have more freedom of movement. This can lead to those teeth shifting slightly to occupy the hole. When your teeth shift, it throws your bite off balance. Your teeth can then wear unevenly, and you are much more likely to experience jaw pain and issues with your temporomandibular joint.

Changes in Jaw

Your teeth play a crucial role in the health of your jaw. Every time you chew, your teeth stimulate the jawbone. This stimulation sends a message to the body that nutrients need to be sent, keeping the bone healthy. When you lose teeth, the message is not as strong as it once was. Because of this, fewer nutrients are sent. Your jawbone slowly begins to weaken. As it does, it changes shape. This can exacerbate shifting teeth and the changing of your bite. It can also cause your face to begin to change shape, which can make you look several years older than you are.

Missing teeth, even just one, can have serious consequences for your oral health, and your overall health. When you have suffered tooth loss, contact Drs. Scheetz & Rekos: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of Ohio to schedule your consultation right away.

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