Missing Teeth? Consider These Deadly Risk Factors

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If you clicked on this blog article, chances are you or a loved one is missing at least one tooth. If that’s the case, you probably already know some of the disadvantages of missing teeth. These can include:

  • problems eating – discomfort when eating or having to eliminate foods from your diet
  • problems talking, especially if you have many missing teeth
  • embarrassment at your smile, causing you to keep your teeth from showing when you grin, lowering your confidence in social situations, or making you reluctant to do all kinds of things, from meeting new people to smiling for photos to applying for a job
  • Our Orlando dentists know that these problems exist, because we see patients like you who experience these difficulties every day. We don’t want you to suffer any longer with these cosmetic or psychological issues that are unfortunately common to those missing teeth. That’s why we offer several tooth replacement options.

    But the problem goes deeper than that. Here’s some new information that may make you consider tooth replacement options, like dental implants, if you’ve lost teeth.

    Increased Risk of Disease

    Way back in 1997, a large study observed more than 8,000 people to discover information about the effects of missing teeth. Just a couple of months ago, researchers published their findings after following up with these participants 13 years later. Of course, dentists have known many of these risk factors for years now, but this study presents some surprising information that you may not have thought about before.

    The study, done by the University of Helsinki in Finland along with The National Institute for Health and Welfare, found that people with missing teeth had an increased risk of disease and even death! This was after they took into account other normal risk factors that can cause death. Specifically, the study reported that:

  • “More than five missing teeth increased the risk for coronary heart disease events and myocardial infarctions as much as 140 %.”
  • “More than nine missing teeth indicated an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases (51 %), diabetes (31 %) and death (37 %).”
  • Those are some scary statistics! So what can we learn from them?

    Oral-Systemic Connection

    We’ve been telling our patients for years that there is a link between missing teeth and systemic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes. This is known as an oral-systemic connection. Other studies have shown that the same bacteria that originates in the mouth can increase the risk of endocarditis, a serious heart condition. Also, there’s a common risk factor for both heart disease and oral infection: inflammation. It’s been found that people treated for heart conditions also decreased the infections found in their mouth.

    Many studies have also shown that oral issues like gum disease are more difficult to control for people with diabetes.

    Additionally, people with missing teeth often have to adapt their diet to eat what’s comfortable for them. Usually, they choose foods that are softer and more processed, as well as eliminating many nutritious foods like crunchy fruits and vegetables.

    Tooth Replacement Options

    Considering all this, you can see why tooth replacement is a very important decision. Although there are dental concerns with missing teeth – increased risk of infection, shifting teeth and altered bite, increased risk of more missing teeth, deteriorating bone, to name a few – there are other, more far-reaching issues.

    Our high-quality bridges and dentures are able to help with some of these issues. But they can’t replace your entire tooth from root to crown. That’s what’s crucial in helping restore your bone, teeth, and health of your mouth. If you didn’t see last month’s blog post on how our dental implants solve these problems, check it out here.

    Gum Disease Treatment

    Did you know that advanced gum disease can contribute to missing teeth? Because there’s growing evidence about the link between gum disease, missing teeth, and systemic diseases, we try to make gum disease treatment as easy as possible here at Overmeyer Family Dental. We offer laser gum disease therapy that doesn’t require stitches like traditional gum surgery. It’s our hope that even if you have gum disease, you can let us help you eradicate it and get your mouth back to a healthy state. No judgment, no lectures – we’re just here to keep you healthy and smiling for life!

    Preventive Care

    One way we can help prevent any dental problems or catch them early is with our preventive care. If you come in for regular checkups and exams, we’ll make sure that any problems you have are dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible. No matter what your mouth looks like or how embarrassed you are by your missing teeth, we want to keep you from danger!

    See Overmeyer Family Dental for a Healthy Mouth for Life

    Even if it’s not totally clear why these dangers are associated with missing teeth, we do know that there’s a connection. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, why continue to put your mouth, health, and possibly life at risk? Contact us today to help improve your oral health and your overall wellness! We’re waiting with solutions!

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