Drawing of a family on a farm with lots of missing teeth

Can Missing Teeth Cause Health Problems?

May 31, 2022 10:40 pm
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Over 100 years ago, 50% of adults in North America were toothless! Today, according to the CDC, about 25% of adults 65+ have 8 or fewer teeth. And about 1 in 6 adults in this age range have lost all their teeth! Do missing teeth cause health problems? Here are some possible issues:

Loss of Jawbone Density

Your teeth are anchored in your jawbone. When you chew, the bone-building cells in your jawbone are activated, which keeps the bone strong and healthy. When you lose a tooth, however, the jawbone gets less stimulation. The more teeth you lose, the less forces are transferred to your jawbone and the more it will deteriorate and shrink. A weak jawbone can change your facial structure, make you more vulnerable to injury, and increase your risk for more tooth loss.

Higher Risk of Gum Disease

Gum disease is the #1 cause of adult tooth loss. Conversely, tooth loss increases your risk for gum disease. When you’re missing teeth, bacteria have more places to get trapped and build up. Serious infections and more tooth loss may follow. Unhealthy gums are also linked to a host of other health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

A Less Nutritious Diet

When you lose teeth, it’s much harder to chew certain foods like fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, meat, and nuts. As your diet becomes more limited, you’ll start to miss out on important nutrients. Getting fewer nutrients negatively affects your overall health and your oral health.

Durable Tooth Replacements in Harrisonburg, VA

Tooth loss doesn’t only affect your appearance. It leads to bone loss, a higher risk for issues like gum disease, and poor nutrition. Luckily, Dr. Rigby and our team offer great tooth replacement options like dental implants, bridges, and full-mouth restorations. As a specialist in prosthodontics, Dr. Rigby is uniquely qualified to craft custom tooth restorations. If you have any questions, please schedule a consultation at Rockingham Prosthodontics! Contact us today.

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Illustration of family with missing teeth from Authority Dental under CC 2.0