Healthy Mouth, Healthy Life
Why having a healthy mouth is essential for your health and happiness
None of us want to suffer problems with our teeth, yet at some point in our lives, many of us will find ourselves battling tooth decay, gum disease or infection that will lead us to having one or more of our teeth removed. This is related to lifestyle and is entirely preventable. The most important advice that dental professionals can give to their patients is preventative advice about maintaining the health of your natural teeth. In fact, a shocking 74% of all adults in the UK have had a tooth removed and 19% of adults either wear full or partial dentures, so you’re most certainly not alone if you fall into this category. There is a large proportion of the population that suffer from tooth loss and the uncomfortable issues that this brings.
But the problem is, our teeth play a vital role in our overall health, comfort, level of happiness, social interactions and relationships, and even our ability to enjoy the finer things in life. You only have to bite into a delicious-looking bowl of raspberries wearing a seat of dentures to understand exactly what I mean.
The Physical Importance Of Healthy Teeth
We all know that our teeth are there to enable us to chew our food and break it down to a form that is ready for you to swallow and later extract all of the vital nutrients from these foods, which you have consumed.
But if your teeth are incomplete, injured or you can’t chew, as you should, this essential part of the process simply can’t operate efficiently, and you are less likely to absorb the full nutrients from your food.
Additionally, mealtimes can turn into more of a chore than a pleasure, as food gets trapped in the gaps, chewing takes a great deal more effort, and you are constantly worrying about whether you can manage to eat at all. As a result, you are likely to eat far less and provide your body with less nutrition as a result.
Either way, unhealthy teeth mean sub-optimal nutrition that affects your energy levels, your ability to fight off illness, your growth, your healing, your mood and even the rate at which you are aging.
Your natural teeth hold your jaw bone and gum in place, and provide support for your lips and cheeks. But if these teeth are missing, and in their place lies an emptiness, your facial profile will change, and you will develop that horribly aging ‘sunken in’ appearance.
In addition to all of this, the loss of one or more teeth is likely to cause recession of your gums and bone, exposing the root of adjacent teeth and triggers uncomfortable or even painful tooth sensitivity. You are also highly likely to experience drifting of the natural teeth, which causes small spaces between your remaining teeth. This in turn can trigger TMJ dysfunction and lead to nasty symptoms like jaw clicking and associated pain.
The Psychological Effect Of Tooth Loss
As every experienced dentist will tell you, the extraction of one of more of your natural teeth is likely to have a significant psychological impact. The procedure itself can be upsetting and is not something that you want to experience, however it might just be the only choice to treat the pain or infection associated with the failing tooth. In fact, tooth extraction is seen as a serious life event and you are likely to undergo a period of grief, sadness, or even depression as a result of losing what is essentially a part of your body. This is especially relevant when you are faced with a less than ideal replacement such as a plastic denture. For many the sense of ‘where to turn to next for help’ can be confusing and difficult. There is a definitive loss of confidence and self worth associated with tooth loss. This is more dramatic when multiple teeth are removed. Furthermore denture wearers who are missing all of their natural teeth report a significant negative implant on their quality of life. Plastic teeth just don’t function in the same way as natural teeth or fixed in place artificial teeth.
The Social Impact Of Tooth Loss
No one is ever proud of having spaces in their mouth, especially if you can see these spaces when you smile. We all want to have healthy and young-looking teeth that help us look and feel attractive, confident and trustworthy. Without our natural teeth, we just don’t feel complete, and sadly we can be judged negatively as a result. Studies show that with an attractive smile you are more employable and accepted socially in to new circles. An attractive healthy looking smile improves self-confidence.
Unsurprisingly then, it’s often this very issue that drives people to find a solution to their problems and replace their teeth with a strong and natural alternative.
Should I Seek Treatment?
You might be asking yourself if there can ever really be a solution to all of these struggles, or whether you should simply continue as you are, battling all the discomfort, the effect on your self-confidence, the emotional trauma and the social stigma that arises from having gaps in your teeth. Without doubt, the answer should always be a resounding ‘Yes’.
Implant Dentistry is a fast-moving part of medicine that boasts many new techniques and technology that simply couldn’t be used a decade or so ago. This means that there is always something your implant dentist can do to alleviate your physical and mental suffering, and the sooner you seek help, the better.
You see, the longer you leave your problem, the worse it becomes, and the more complex it becomes to treat. But rest assured that you can always seek treatment, no matter your age or how long ago you lost your tooth.
Dental implants have a high success rate, reported over 90%. They are fixed in place and hold functioning artificial teeth.