7 Consequences of Tooth Loss that Might Surprise You

There are times when teeth can’t be saved and it can feel easier and cheaper in the moment to not do additional dentistry to replace them. But, the investment in your smile is well worth it when you consider these consequences.

Looking Older – When your cheeks lose the support of the teeth behind them, they will sink in making you look more gaunt and deepening facial lines and wrinkles.

Damage to Your Remaining Teeth – The teeth that remain have to work harder to make up for the ones that were lost. When you bite down the opposing teeth may not line up properly, causing them to hit harder or off center and creating additional stress that puts them at risk.

Losing More Teeth – When a tooth is removed the other teeth in the area will drift into the open space looking for the tooth they used to lean against. To do this they often tip over or grow out of the jaw bone, putting them in danger of being lost as well.

TMJ, Joint and Jaw Problems – Losing a tooth throws off the delicate balance of how your teeth work together and can result in bite challenges that lead to painful joint problems.

Loss of Confidence – It is harder to feel confident when you feel people are staring at your incomplete smile. This drop in confidence can impact all areas of your life including career, romance, and even your self-esteem.

Difficulty in Chewing and Digesting Food – Chewing is the first stage in healthy digestion. The inability to process food fully can result in digestive issues and difficulty in absorbing nutrients from your food.

Your Health Can Be Compromised – As your remaining teeth shift into new spaces they are more at risk for periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. This condition is a bacterial infection in your mouth that can get into your blood stream easily. Scientific studies have linked it to major health conditions like diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease

Saving your teeth or replacing ones that have had to be removed can not only improve the quality of your life, but help you live longer by preventing serious health problems.

We can help you get the healthy and happy smile you deserve. If you have postponed replacing teeth or other dental work because of dental anxiety, we also offer oral sedation dentistry to make it easier for you.

Give us a call at (865) 922-1613  Knoxville

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The Three Levels of Periodontal Gum Disease

If you have been reading our blog, you know that gum disease is dangerous for both your teeth and your health.  When given a diagnosis of gum disease, your dentist may have used different words that represent different stages of the disease.  In this post we will explain what those names mean.

Gingivitis – this is the earliest stage of periodontal disease.  Symptoms include red, swollen, or tender gums that are inflamed, but there may be no obvious symptoms at all. This is the best time to catch it because in most cases there is no permanent damage at this level.  Treatment may include a thorough professional cleaning, home care recommendations, and possibly repairing any dental issues that make it hard for you to reach and clean areas of your mouth.

Periodontitis – at this stage, the plaque on the teeth has hardened into calculus (tartar) and created new places for bacteria to live that you can’t easily clean.  Your gums may have started to recede and the pockets between your gums and teeth are getting deeper as the bone that supports your teeth is being lost.  These pockets will be harboring bacteria and infection that will worsen if prompt action isn’t taken.  Treatment at this level may include a series of deep professional cleanings by the hygienist, antibiotic therapy, and in some cases, surgery.

Advanced Periodontitis – when the disease reaches this level, the infection is out of control and is destroying the gums and bone that support teeth.  Teeth are likely to be lost and there will be bone loss throughout your mouth.  There will be a higher risk of the infection getting into the bloodstream and spreading to other areas of your body.  This condition can also have an impact on diabetes and heart health, possibly even more. Treatment may include a series of professional cleanings, antibiotics, and surgery.  Since teeth are likely to be lost at this point, there will also be additional work to restore your teeth or create dentures.

Periodontal disease is not something you want to ignore.  It is a serious infection that just happens to be in your mouth.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please see a dentist right away.  They will be able to help you get your dental health back under control.

If you are in the Knoxville area, we would love to help. (865) 922-1613

Oral sedation dentistry is available.

6 Risk Factors for Losing Teeth

 

A recent study of almost 1800 patients who had teeth removed revealed several common denominators that were identified as risk factors for losing teeth.  Do any of these apply to you?

  • Male, over 30 years old
  • Smoker
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Arthritis
  • Lack of dental care – 87% had not seen the dentist in the last 6 months

The good news is that you have some level of control over several of these.  If you stopped smoking, took care of your health, and visited your dentist regularly, your risk of losing teeth would greatly diminish.

If you value your teeth and want to take action to save them, we would love to help. If being afraid of dental treatment contributed to your avoiding the dentist, we offer oral sedation dentistry to make your dental visits seem easy.  Just give us a call at (865) 922-1613.