The dental report card of Australians does not make for a very encouraging read. The national oral health tracker report card reveals a few disturbing statistics that point to the dental health of the country’s adult population.
Some of the poor oral health conditions covered in the report are tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. Figures like 90 percent of Australian adults show evidence of tooth decay, one in six have severe tooth loss and 19.8 percent have periodontal pockets are all reasons for great concern.
Permanent teeth are lost due to tooth decay caused by oral hygiene neglect. Oral hygiene neglect is characterised by failure to brush teeth twice a day, failure to floss daily and skipping out on scheduled check-up visits at the dentist. Losing adult teeth, whether due to tooth decay or facial trauma, cannot be seen in isolation – even a single missing tooth will have serious adverse health consequences for the individual.
Avoiding these consequences is the foremost reason why dental practitioners are desperate for patients with missing teeth to seek a suitable missing teeth replacement solution like dental implants Bondi Junction.
Negative health outcomes of missing teeth
Patients often do not prioritise replacing missing teeth quickly enough. They don’t take quick action, preferring to wait until much time has passed. This is risky for the following reasons:
One negative outcome of poor dental health is a raised risk of infection. When a tooth falls out or is extracted and then not filled with a dental device such as an artificial tooth, a socket is left open in the dental arch. This open space then becomes an invitation to bad bacteria and germs to occupy. Bad bacteria that finds its way into the gums cause infections and disease. The roots of neighbouring teeth are also susceptible to the invasion of bad bacteria and possible decay.
It is quite common for teeth on either side of the open socket to move out of their own naturally-ordained positions and occupy the space left open. This unwanted event triggers other unwanted consequences such as overcrowding issues and crooked teeth issues. Orthodontic treatment is then required to resolve these issues to put one’s smile back into smiling.
Jawbone deterioration is a possible side effect. It is not just neighbouring teeth and gums that suffer when teeth are lost, but the jawbone is affected too. The presence of tooth roots are vital for the continued growth of bone density. These roots offer stimulation needed by the jawbone, so without them, bone loss occurs. Loss of jawbone has further negative ill-effects of promoting tooth loss as well as initiating an inward curve in facial structure (causing a shrunken and aged appearance).
Often, there are problems with speech and eating when teeth are missing in the dental arch. This can cause interference with the pronunciation of certain words. In addition to this, adults may find that there is undue pressure placed on existing teeth to provide the same level of masticatory (biting and chewing) function as a full set of teeth.
Seen in the above light, it becomes quite clear that replacing missing teeth should be addressed as soon as possible. When going for a consultation, it is important to remember that any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. It is therefore a good idea to seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner before proceeding with a treatment plan.