When a person loses a tooth, often, their biggest concern is their appearance, especially if it was toward the front. However, tooth loss can have far-reaching effects beyond the image you see in the mirror. In fact, it can drastically alter the way you’re able to eat and get nutrients from food, which can lead to all kinds of overall health problems in addition to even more tooth loss. If you need motivation to keep up with your oral hygiene and/or finally replace your missing teeth, be sure to read about some of the ways that tooth loss can affect your nutrition below.
1. More Restricted Diet
This one is pretty easy to understand. If you have fewer teeth, eating certain foods becomes more difficult. Specifically, chewing cooked meats and fibrous vegetables, both of which are tremendously nutritious, can be almost impossible for people with one or more gaps. In addition to causing someone to avoid a few of their favorites, a person may also miss out on important vitamins and minerals that are essential to their day-to-day health.
2. Eating Can Cause Pain
Your teeth are designed to help you break down food before you swallow it. However, if a tooth is gone, this can cause someone to routinely chew with their gums, which can lead to irritation, swelling, and daily discomfort.
3. Unhealthier Diet
Expanding on the first point listed above, when a person is unable to consume more hearty, nutritious foods, this usually causes them to mostly eat softer, less healthy options simply because it’s more comfortable. These usually consist of carbohydrates like bread as well as fried and sugary items. Because these types of foods are all high in sugar, they increase a person’s risk of additional oral health issues and are big contributing factors to weight gain as well.
4. Less Enjoyment When Eating
Tooth loss has actually been shown to decrease someone’s appetite and affect their senses, meaning their preferences for certain flavors and textures may change, causing them to enjoy food less. This, along with the pain touched on above, can lead some people to undereat, which is associated with its own laundry list of health issues.
How You Can Help Yourself
If you are currently missing several teeth, then one of the best things you can do for yourself, both in the short and long term, is visit a dentist to talk about replacing them. Regaining a full smile will not only make eating more pleasurable and healthier, but this will also give you a big boost of confidence in social situations.
There are multiple options available today, such as dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants. The right dentist can help you determine which one is best for your health and budget, and you can trust that they won’t judge you because of the condition of your teeth. Their goal is to help you so that you can enjoy improved health and start looking forward to meals again.
About the Author
Dr. Michael Kirk is a respected family, cosmetic, and implant dentist that has served the Oklahoma City area for over 25 years. In that time, he has helped countless patients replace their missing teeth and start eating the foods they love again. If you’re ready to do something about your tooth loss, then he’s eager to offer you a personalized solution. To learn more and schedule an appointment, click here.