Tooth loss is a fact that almost a third of all Americans face, and most people choose some type of dental treatment which can be a bridge, dentures or in a best case scenario, a dental implant say our associates at Lincoln Park Dentistry.
When you lose a tooth you don’t just get a hole in your mouth, there are other consequences that may be far worse. Tooth loss results in premature aging. It first starts with a decrease in the angle at the corner of the lips so that you appear unhappy when your mouth is at rest. And if your face is shorter and rounder, this facial expression is even more noticeable. Short facial types have higher bite forces, greater bone loss and more facial changes with tooth loss, compared to others. A thinning of the upper lip results from the poor lip support provided by the denture. And, there is a loss of tonicity of the muscles. Women often use one of two techniques to hide this cosmetically undesirable appearance: either no lipstick and minimum make-up, so that little attention is brought to this area of the face or lipstick is drawn over the border of the lips to give the appearance of fuller lips.
When you experience tooth loss and even when you opt for other treatments besides dental implant, the upper lip naturally becomes longer with age as a result of gravity and loss of muscle tone. The loss of muscle tone is accelerated in a patient with no teeth and the lengthening of the lip occurs at a younger age. Men often grow a moustache to minimize this effect. This has a tendency to age the smile, because the younger the patient, the more the teeth show in relation to the upper lip at rest or when smiling. A deepening of the groove next to the nose and an increase in the depth of other vertical lines are made worse by the bone loss in the upper front jaw. This usually is accompanied by an increase in the angle under the nose. This can make the nose appear larger. The attachments of the muscles to the jaw also are affected by bone loss. The tissue sags along the lower jaw with bone loss, producing jowls or a witchs chin. This effect is additive because of the loss of muscle tone along with the loss of teeth.
As a patient you are often unaware that these bone, gum and facial changes are due to the loss of teeth. Instead, you probably blame these problems on aging, weight loss, or the dentist for making a poor denture.
Health Problems Caused by Tooth Loss
Aging is not the only downside to tooth loss, studies also find that there are also other health conditions to consider. For example, Lincoln Park Dentistry showed us a study where 367 denture weares found that almost 50% of them had low chewing performance. They also experienced lower intakes of fruit and vegetables and vitamin A because of the difficulty in chewing these types of foods. These patients also took additional medications for stomach or intestinal disorders. The reduced consumption of high fiber foods could therefore induce stomach or intestinal problems in patients without teeth with deficient chewing performance. In addition, as the coarser food is chewed it may impair proper digestive and nutrient extraction functions. The literature provides several reports that suggest that compromised dental function results in poor swallowing and chewing performance which in turn may negatively affect overall health and favor illness, debilitation, and shortened life expectancy.
Lincon Dental Says There are Also Psychological Aspects to The Problem
People who lose teeth have complex psychological issues that range from minimal to a total state of anxiety. Complete denture can fix the appearance needs of many patients, but there are still many people who feel their social life is significantly affected. They are concerned with kissing and romantic situations, especially if a new relationship is unaware of their oral handicap. A past dental health survey indicates that only 80% of the population without teeth is able to wear both upper and lower dentures all of the time. Some patients wear only one of the dentures, usually the upper; others are able to wear their dentures only for short periods. In addition, approximately 7% of denture wearers are not able to wear them at all, and become dental cripples or oral invalids. These people rarely leave their home environment, and when they feel forced to venture out, the thought of meeting and talking to people while not wearing teeth is unsettling.
Implants Are Another Matter
By contrast, most people with implants are secure and totally happy with their appearance. Their overall psychological health improved compared with their previous state wearing traditional, removable dentures.
Newer technology allows for full dental implants that protect the mouth, prevent aging and allow for better chewing. In the opinion of the experts at Lincoln Park Dentistry, this makes the dental implant a treatment for tooth loss that is far superior to other forms of treatment.