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Do you have missing teeth that make it difficult to chew your food? Or maybe you’re simply self-conscious to smile because of the gaps in your smile. We commonly treat patients with missing teeth, and we’ve found that not every patient is aware of the dangers of missing teeth. Missing teeth wreak havoc on your confidence and can even lower your overall life expectancy.

Today I want to tell you why missing teeth are so damaging to your smile and your overall health. First, let’s start by discussing the causes of missing teeth and how you can avoid having your teeth fail. I’ll also tell you how your Plano general dentist can resolve your problems.

What Causes Missing Teeth?

We all probably remember our parents telling us to brush in order to make sure our teeth do not fall out. Brushing is the best way to remove plaque from your teeth at home. Plaque is a harmful substance that creates cavities and can form in just eight hours. Cavities can damage the structure of the tooth and ultimately cause tooth loss, but cavities are not the main cause of tooth loss.

The leading cause of tooth loss is actually gum disease. Gum disease is very prevalent – so much that it will affect about 75 percent of Americans at some point in their lives and has been linked to serious illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. In its advanced stages, gum disease can cause the gums and jawbone to deteriorate, which damages the foundation of the tooth. Patients with advanced gum disease often experience bleeding, swollen gums or tooth loss. In left untreated, gum disease can cause total loss.

Brushing and flossing is the best way to ensure that your keep your teeth healthy for the rest of your life. You also need to maintain regular dental checkups and cleanings. During your dental cleaning, we remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque). We also polish the surface of the tooth to make it harder for plaque and harmful acids to attach to the tooth.

Missing Teeth Drastically Reduce Your Oral Health

There are millions of Americans living with missing teeth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20 percent of Americans 65 or older have none of their natural teeth. Those people are likely living with dentures or no oral appliance at all. While dentures can give patients some biting power, removable dentures come nowhere close to matching the force of your natural teeth.

In a recent study, the Mayo Clinic found that patients living without any of their natural teeth live an average of 10 years less than the normal expectancy. How can that be? The answer is simple. Without teeth, we cannot possibly get all of the necessary nutrition we need to live a healthy live. By not getting the nutrition we need, we open the door to multiple serious illnesses and essentially lower our life expectancy.

While living without any natural teeth can drastically reduce your oral health, single missing teeth are a real problem as well. When we have individual missing teeth, the other teeth in our mouth begin to shift. Crooked teeth make it harder to properly clean your teeth, which of course paves the way for future cavities and oral health issues.

Missing Teeth Create an Eyesore

It’s no secret that missing teeth are an eyesore. They create gaps in our smile and can be distracting. Earlier, I told you about the risk missing teeth play on your oral health, but did you know that living without teeth can change the shape of your face? When we lose our teeth, our jawbone begins to recede because it loses its chief function. As the jawbone recedes, patients often develop wrinkles around their mouth, and their face can have a sunken in appearance. Some studies have found that patients without teeth look 10 years older than they actually are! That’s shocking.

At Ist In Smiles, we offer a variety of solutions to replace missing teeth. Using dental implants, we can give you permanent teeth that restores your chewing ability. With dental implants, you can eat anything you want, and the implants naturally fuse to the jawbone and preserve the jawbone. Call us today to schedule a consultation with us to see how we can resolve your missing teeth.