Missing Teeth & Your Health: What You Need to Know

Are you worried about losing 1 or more teeth? Maybe you’re already missing some and are wondering what it means for your health. Or maybe you just want to know how to avoid this problem in the first place. Whatever the reason, you’ve come to the right place! Our team of experienced dentists in Escondido, CA is here to tell you everything you need to know.

Let’s get some context

So, how common is this problem?

Missing one or more teeth is one of the most common dental issues in the world. Just in the US, 3 out of 10 adults will lose at least 1 tooth in their lifetime. Right now, about 178 million Americans are missing 1 or more teeth, and 40 million are missing all of their teeth.

Although it’s very common, this problem shouldn’t be ignored. Oral health is strongly connected to your overall health, and in many cases, losing 1 or more teeth can be a sign of an underlying issue (like gum disease). Regardless of the cause, here we’ll tell you the most important health implications of tooth loss that you need to know.

What causes missing teeth?

There are multiple causes of missing teeth. The most common are:

  • Severe tooth decay
  • Advanced gum disease (Periodontitis)
  • Accidents and injuries

However, other health conditions may lead to missing teeth: 

  • Osteoporosis: May cause bone erosion and weakening of your jawbone
  • Diabetes: High blood sugar can obstruct the delivery of nutrients to the gums
  • Hypertension: Tooth loss caused by inflammation is often linked to this condition
  • Oral cancer: Along with pain and other symptoms, tooth loss can be a sign of mouth cancer

Risk factors for missing teeth

  • As you get older, you are more likely to lose 1 or more teeth
  • Smokers are 3 times more predisposed to develop gum disease
  • Certain hereditary conditions can lead to tooth loss

How can you avoid losing teeth?

Sometimes, you just can’t avoid missing 1 or more teeth — like if you have a tooth knocked out. But there are a few things you can do to help preserve your beautiful smile:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss at least once every day
  • Don’t skip your routine dental check-ups
  • Avoid smoking
  • Follow a balanced diet — less refined sugars, more fruits and veggies!

Why you need to replace missing teeth 

So, is a missing tooth a real problem? 

That depends. Some patients need to get one or several teeth extracted because their jaw is too small. Many adults also get their wisdom teeth extracted to prevent crowding and other dental issues. So missing teeth is not always a problem. 

However, in most cases missing teeth can lead to further complications, which is why they need to be replaced as soon as possible.

Some reasons why you should replace missing teeth:

  • To prevent jaw bone deterioration — which may lead to more teeth loss
  • To maintain an even bite and recover your ability to chew normally
  • To prevent your remaining teeth from shifting 
  • To avoid other dental issues, like gum disease and infection
  • To smile with confidence

Replacement options

If you are missing one or more teeth, don’t worry. There are various treatments that can help you recover your smile and preserve your health! Some of the best ways to replace missing teeth are:

  • Dental implants
  • Bridges
  • Dentures

If you are in Escondido, CA, Dr. Reyes and Dr. Madrigal can guide you through each of these treatments and evaluate your condition to help you decide which tooth replacement option is the right one for you.

Are you thinking about replacing missing teeth?

At TLC Escondido Dental, we practice high-quality dentistry with an empathetic and caring approach. Our team can help you treat or prevent any dental problems that may result in tooth loss, as well as replace any missing teeth.

Ready to get started? Book your appointment today or give us a call at (760) 239-5289. We’ll be happy to help you preserve your smile!

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