A healthy smile is more than just a way to look pretty for the camera. It can also impact your social life, your confidence, your diet and your overall health. But because people think of tooth loss as a superficial problem, they often don’t get the treatment they need to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Not counting wisdom teeth, the average adult should have 28 teeth. However, the average number of remaining teeth for adults age 20 to 64 is about 25, says the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Adults over age 50 have about 22 teeth left.
“It is unfortunate, but losing teeth is actually a common happening among adults,” says Salt Lake City-based Dream Dental. “In the United States alone, there are 25 million people missing all of their upper and or their lower teeth.”
Missing teeth can cause a host of problems, both physical and emotional. Here are some things you don’t do when you aren’t happy with the health or look of your smile.
You don’t make a good first impression
A first impression is heavily influenced by a person’s appearance, which means a healthy smile is an important step in the right direction.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) reported the results of a study which found, “Nearly half of American adults (48%) believe that a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone—more so than the first thing a person says (25%).”
Respondents ranked a person’s smile as more memorable in a first impression than his or her clothes or how the person smelled. They also ranked people with crooked or stained teeth as “less attractive and less confident than those with perfect teeth.” The AACD also referenced other recent studies which have found that bad teeth can prevent someone from getting a job or promotion they are otherwise qualified for.
You don’t feel confident
The fact is, when you know you have an imperfect or incomplete smile, you do tend to be less confident in social situations.
A survey reported by the British Dental Journal revealed that when people struggle with accepting the loss of their teeth, they are “more likely to feel less confident about themselves” and “more likely to feel inhibited in carrying out everyday activities.”
When you don’t feel confident in everyday activities, you’re more likely to avoid social activities like parties, reunions, or dating, which can negatively affect your quality of life.
Another study in the Journal of Oral Medicine found that “tooth loss also is associated with altered emotional functions.” Those researchers also learned that people who “had six teeth or more removed experienced a comorbid of depression and anxiety.”
This change in a person’s mood could actually be traced to an increase in size of the person’s amygdala, a part of the brain responsible for regulating the fear response.
You don’t eat as well
It can be tough to choose healthy choices when you have a full set of healthy teeth, let alone when your oral health is impacted by pain from dental problems or tooth loss. A common option for people with missing teeth is dentures, which are meant to improve the look and function of a person’s mouth.
However, many people find that dentures can come loose when eating very chewy foods like sandwiches or crunchy foods like raw fruits and vegetables. The discomfort and inconvenience can discourage denture-wearers from eating these foods, leaving them with fewer healthy choices for meals and snacks.
Researchers have also found that denture wearers “experience a reduction in flavor perception” when eating and “may impose upon themselves certain dietary restrictions which, in time, can compromise their nutritional status and ultimately place them at health risk,” according to an article in the International Dental Journal.
Because of dental implant technology, there is no need for the discomfort and hassle that comes with dentures. Instead, you can opt for Dream Dental’s All-on-4® implant restoration. With the use of just four implants, all your teeth on either the top or bottom of your mouth can be replaced. This type of procedure gives you a mouthful of teeth with a natural look and feel, the ability to taste and bite food with almost full natural biting force, and the chance to prevent the bone loss that happens when a person loses their teeth.
Teeth are meant for so much more than eating. Take back your confidence and call 801-948-9971 or visit Dream Dental today.
This article was featured on KSL: https://www.ksl.com/article/46730835/3-things-that-happen-when-you-dont-like-your-smile