When it comes to teeth, some American adults assume that missing one, two or a few won’t upset the apple cart. But it does. Even though your missing teeth may not be visible in a smile, the gap disrupts the natural balance necessary for proper bite alignment.
For example, if you are missing two lower teeth in the back, the upper teeth that once ‘met’ these teeth begin to grow longer. The lower tooth next to the area of missing teeth begins to tilt out of position due to bone resorption. This ‘shrinkage’ of jaw bone occurs when natural tooth roots are no longer present in the bone to provide stimulation. Without them, the bone declines in mass and height.
In addition to chips and tooth fractures, improper bite alignment contributes to jaw joint disorders, which can lead to sore jaw joints, headaches, clenching or migraines. However, when missing teeth leave a gap in your smile, the social perception of others can have a negative impact as well.
Although it is assumed that there are minimum social consequences for individuals missing visible teeth, a study shared by the National Institutes of Health (published in their U.S. National Library of Medicine) shows differently. The study measured 200 college students’ “Social perceptions of individuals missing upper front teeth.” In the study, volunteer students with a medium age of 21 years rated five photographs, each depicting tooth presence or absence. The photos ranged from those clearly having all their teeth to those missing as many as four upper teeth. The students rated the photos on attractiveness, health, education, satisfaction with life, active social life, aggressiveness, intelligence, trustworthiness, friendship, potential of dating, and how likely they would be to live as a neighbor.
The findings suggested a person missing visible teeth was more negatively perceived on all social traits than a person with a full smile. Results were strongest when students were proposed to be linked to the individual who was clearly missing teeth in a personal way, such as their likelihood of dating or living as neighbor. Both men and women agreed on perceptions of social traits, seeing missing teeth as creating significant barriers to personal and social success.
If you are missing natural teeth, whether they are visible when you smile or not, replacement is recommended for the well-being of other teeth as well as how you are perceived in the world in which we live. We advise Dental Implants for tooth replacement for their ability to recreate the presence of tooth roots in the jaw bone, halting bone loss. They are also the closest thing to natural teeth when it comes to biting strength and stability, chewing comfort and self-confidence.
Begin with a free consultation to discuss treatment options. For example, if you are missing 2 to 3 teeth in one area, one implant may be all that’s necessary to support a bridge of teeth. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule a convenient time.