How Missing Teeth Can Affect Your Overall Health

How Missing Teeth Can Affect Your Overall Health

Apr 01, 2023

More than half of American adults are missing at least one tooth. While natural teeth can last for a lifetime, they are susceptible to damage, especially from acids, bacteria, and trauma. Gum disease, dental trauma, and severe gum disease are common causes of tooth loss. Unfortunately, losing a tooth comes with more problems.

For instance, lost teeth leave gaps in your mouth, making you look and feel less attractive. Teeth gaps can also affect your ability to pronounce certain words or chew tougher foods. Long-term tooth loss can also lead to jawbone deterioration, shifting of the adjacent teeth, and poor facial structure.

The problems don’t end there. Missing teeth can also affect your overall well-being. This article highlights the most common health problems associated with tooth loss and how to avoid them.

How Missing Teeth Affect Your Overall Health

Missing teeth increases your risk of oral issues such as tooth decay, teeth misalignments, poor bite, and gum disease. If left untreated, these oral issues can lead to serious health complications, including:

  • Malnutrition

  • Missing more than one tooth can significantly affect how you chew or eat food. Chewing tougher foods like nuts, meat, and apples can feel uncomfortable and difficult. You may find yourself avoiding these foods, potentially causing you to forgo certain essential nutrients. Long-term, this can lead to malnutrition, weight loss, weakened immune systems, and other health complications.

  • Cardiovascular diseases

  • Gaps left by missing teeth allow bacteria to enter your gums and bone. Since these gaps are more challenging and uncomfortable to clean, it can lead to a build-up of bacteria and plaque. When left uncleaned for long periods, these bacterial deposits release harmful toxins that cause gum disease and tooth decay in the adjacent teeth.

    Untreated tooth decay and gum disease cause gum inflammation and can damage the underlying teeth supporting bones and connective tissues. These bacteria can enter the bloodstream and spread to vital body organs like the heart, leading to stroke, clogged arteries, heart disease, and heart attacks.

  • Pregnancy complications

  • Recent studies show that untreated oral issues like gum disease are linked to an increased risk of pregnancy. Oral issues arising from tooth loss can cause an increased level of chemicals in the body, which can induce, leading to premature births.

  • Respiratory diseases

  • Oral bacteria from untreated issues such as tooth decay and gum disease can spread to the respiratory system, leading to serious and life-threatening conditions such as lung disease and pneumonia.

  • Weakened immune system

  • Missing teeth increases your risk of oral infections like gum disease, dental abscess, and tooth decay. These infections can cause unnecessary strain on your immune system, increasing your risk of further infections and health complications.

  • Mental problems

  • Untreated oral infections caused by missing teeth can spread to the neck, head, and brain, increasing mental issues like memory loss and Dementia.

How to Prevent Health Problems Caused by Missing Teeth

Fortunately, there are several ways that you can lessen the risk of developing health problems due to tooth loss. These include:

  • Replace your missing teeth. You can consult your dentist about tooth replacement treatments such as dental bridges, implants, and dentures. Our dentist can help you determine the best restorative treatments. Visit our office for dental bridges in Shalimar, FL.

  • Maintain excellent oral hygiene. Brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and routine dental checkups and cleanings can help you keep your mouth clean and disease-free, reducing your risk of health issues.

  • Eat a balanced diet. Thankfully, there numerous soft food choices to include in your diet and still take in the necessary nutrients. Avoid sugary and sticky foods, as they can increase your risk of oral infections. You can work with a nutritionist.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Do you need more information about the impacts of missing teeth on your health? Or are you looking for dental bridges near you? Contact Complete Health Dentistry of the Emerald Coast to book a consultation with our dentist in Shalimar, FL.

Call Now Book Appointment