A normal adult mouth consists of 32 teeth. Unfortunately, these teeth don’t always stay in place. Whether due to severe infection, decay, accidental trauma or other factors, teeth can go missing. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, “More than 35 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 178 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth.”
The good news is that there are restorative dentistry options that can replace missing teeth, whether you have a single missing tooth or a full mouth of missing teeth. Dental implants top the list when it comes to replacement options. Since dental implants are a notable investment and they require an oral surgery, many people shy away from this option and may avoid replacing their missing teeth altogether. This can be a bigger mistake than patients realize, as we need our full set of teeth for a number of reasons.
Your Long-Term Health is at Stake
If you are missing multiple teeth or a full arch of teeth, there’s more at stake than your smile appearance. Beyond shifting teeth, bone loss and lowered self-confidence, is the compromise you are putting on your nutritional health and digestive functions.
It is common to see people favor soft, easy-to-chew foods when they have several missing teeth. This often comes in the form of carbohydrate-rich food choices instead of fibrous fruits and vegetables. While this may be harmless to do over a short period of time, if you restrict your diet to these soft foods for many months or years, you are putting yourself at risk for obesity, diabetes and other health problems due to a poor, unbalanced diet.
Believe it or not, teeth play a critical role in your digestive process too. Your teeth are designed uniquely to break up and chew different types of food. For example, the incisors are shaped to bite into your food while larger molars are able to grind and crush food before you swallow. Your teeth not only prepare food in smaller bites so that we digest them, but they also create more surfaces for digestive enzymes and allow our food to mix well with our saliva to break down starches and fats. Without your teeth, you are overloading other digestive parts of your body.
For the sake of your personal wellbeing and long-term health, consider replacing your missing teeth with dental implants. Dr. Wayne Suway in Marietta offers single implants, implant-supported bridges as well as full mouth reconstruction. You can even get new teeth in just one visit! Call today to learn more.