The influence of tooth loss on quality of life

The most obvious effects of tooth loss are the challenges associated with eating and speaking, but researchers are steadily stacking up the evidence of poor dental health affecting other areas of life, including physical health and the ability to perform common daily tasks.

There is much weight behind dental professionals urging children and adults to visit a dentist Canary Wharf twice a year to check up on the condition of their teeth and gums. These appointments hold a wealth of benefits for the patient.

Dental problems such as tooth loss and gum disease are largely preventable. These conditions show themselves with early warning symptoms such as the build-up of plaque and cavities and inflamed, bleeding gums in the case of gum disease. In identifying these tell-tale signs, a dental practitioner has the opportunity to implement preventive dentistry treatments to stop the progression of these unwanted dental complaints.

Another victory for patients who opt for regular professional dental check-ups is that they save time and money by not having to deal with major dental diseases that are sure to follow when small problems are left ignored.

Female with toothache

Why tooth retention is so important

Dental authorities such as the Oral Health Foundation have long warned of the relationship between poor oral health and physical health. The health of the mouth is closely tied to general health. At the root of this relationship lurks the threatening presence of bad oral bacteria.

When bad bacteria in the mouth reach alarming levels, it is cause for concern. In addition to causing havoc to dental health, scientists have found that bad oral microbiomes can enter the wider body through the bloodstream and make their way to the blood vessels in the cardiovascular system. These harmful pathogens obstruct blood flow in the vessels around the heart, prompting blood clots, strokes and heart attacks.

Patients with gums carrying these bacteria are more likely to develop heart health problems, lung infections and complications with diabetes. Pregnant women with gum disease are at risk of premature deliveries and giving birth to babies with low birth weights. This is as well as mental health illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

But it is not just physical and mental health that are at risk, dental diseases such as tooth loss can affect functional capacity too.

In a joint research study between University College London (UCL) and the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, researchers have discovered a significant knock-on effect between tooth loss in older adults and their inability to carry out mundane tasks. The results of the study have linked tooth loss to decreased functional capacity.

The more adult teeth lost, the greater the likelihood of the individual encountering problems with household duties. Elderly persons with just 10 of their natural teeth have a 30 per cent greater chance of experiencing difficulties managing tasks, such as working around the house, than older persons with 20 adult teeth.

The most efficient way to retain natural teeth in later years is through good oral health habits. These include recommended practices like brushing twice a day and flossing, limiting sugar consumption and keeping oral health appointments at the dental clinic.

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