Think your damaged or missing tooth is “no big deal?” Think again. According to a recent article from Dentistry Today, one of the most common nonverbal mistakes made during a job interview is lack of smiling, a telltale sign of shame or dissatisfaction with one’s oral health. Many people with tooth loss suffer from low self esteem, embarrassed with the way their smile looks, and subsequently stop smiling as much. This can impact personal and professional relationships, diminishing quality of life. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Early identification and treatment of tooth decay is crucial in avoiding tooth loss. But unfortunately, a significant number of people skip the recommended bi-annual trips to the dentist for exams and professional cleanings. Without treatment, tooth decay often develops into more severe oral disease, ultimately leading to tooth loss. Tooth replacement is another important step that many avoid, due to dental phobia or finances typically. Without replacement, poor aesthetics can lead to poor self esteem, which carries its own consequences, but that’s not all. The Journal of Prosthodontics has reported that individuals with significant tooth loss have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, head and neck cancer, obesity or malnutrition, and reduced cognitive function.
Patients who experience tooth loss should consider tooth replacement right away, according to the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP). There are many options available, including crowns, implants, and dentures.
“Dentures are not just for the elderly anymore,” said Victoria A. Vickers, DDS, a prosthodontist and ACP spokesperson. “I might see one to 2 people a month who are looking to replace teeth they have lost due to dental disease. When a front tooth is missing, this becomes a big issue in getting a job.”
As always, the best way to avoid dealing with tooth loss and oral disease is a good oral hygiene routine. It is recommended that you brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, floss regularly, and visit your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings and exams.