As a Board Certified Prosthodontist I know that missing teeth can be a big deal. On average 7 out of 10 adults between 34 and 44 have lost at least one tooth. This process might not seem like a big deal, but it really isn’t just all about your teeth. Once teeth are lost nutrition starts to go down hill. Its not just about eating what you like, but about eating in a way to maintain health. It has been proven that good nutrition is the starting point for good health. It stands to reason that healthy teeth are a critical gateway to this process. Missing a single back tooth can decrease biting force by 17-33% .
People with missing teeth tend to consume more processed carbohydrates. These types of food are easier to eat, but contain nothing except empty calories. This can lead to obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol among others problems. These are major health problems that are a direct result of losing teeth. Protein, fiber and vitamins are critically important in a balanced diet. The number one reason for not eating properly is deficient teeth. As you age protein becomes more and more important because the need for protein increases. Adequate amounts of protein are responsible for resistance to infection, anemia, and loss of muscle volume. Fiber has many important roles in health. A big one is that it prevents absorption of cholesterol.
Missing just a few teeth can start the process toward declining overall health. Missing all teeth is a huge problem for maintaining health. Even with dentures very few people can eat an appropriate and healthy diet. People with dentures have less that 10% of their original chewing force. Most people do not achieve a satisfactory ability to chew unless dental implants are used to anchor the dentures. A tricky aspect is that most denture patients have even more trouble tolerating dentures if they are protein deficient.
It is very important to replace missing teeth. It is never too late to start. Dental implants are the best way to replace teeth. It is important to see a specialist in most cases when it comes to dental implants. A Prosthodontist is someone who is an expert in replacing missing teeth. A Prosthodontist is a dental specialist that has three years of additional advanced training after dental school to provide individualized, custom care to treat each patient as a unique individual. We see patients in their practices every day that need dentures, dental implants and have other complex problems. Training beyond dental school allows Prosthodontist to find a way to create solutions that fit the individual set of circumstances. Getting a personalized solution addresses many issues that improve not just oral health but also improves happiness and quality of life. A Prosthodontist can help you get your smile back!