The loss of one or more teeth can severely diminish confidence in your smile, but there are more important considerations than mere aesthetics regarding tooth loss. When a tooth is lost, its remaining brethren can shift to try to take up the slack. Shifting teeth alters your dentition, or tooth arrangement, and malocclusion (misaligned teeth) can negatively affect the proper function of your jaw and teeth. Missing teeth can also make eating more difficult, which could lead to malnutrition as the joy of eating diminishes. According to a study conducted by Swedish researchers, a reduced ability to chew can have other dire consequences. Miami dentist Dr. Arun Garg explores the research that suggests your chewing ability may be related to your risk of developing dementia in later years.
Chewing for Better Memory
Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, in conjunction with the Karlstad University, also in Sweden, conducted a study of 557 random senior citizens aged 77 and above to determine contributing factors to cognitive deterioration. During the study, participants who had difficulty chewing hard foods (like apples) were at a significantly higher risk for rapidly declining cognitive functions. Experts believe the reason behind the relationship involves stimulation. When one or more teeth are missing you’re your chewing ability is reduced for any other reason, there is a decrease in the blood flow to your brain, which would account for the increased dementia risk. According to the results of the study, chewing with dentures or other dental prosthetics did not seem to make a difference compared to chewing with natural teeth, so long as the participant was able to successfully chew.
Dental Implants Can Restore Your Chewing Ability
If you’ve lost one or more teeth, there are plenty of options for you to choose from to replace those who have fallen. Dental crowns and bridges can fill the spaces left by missing teeth, preventing the remaining natural teeth from shifting. However, if you are looking to replace a tooth, your best option is to anchor that replacement on top a dental implant. Shaped like a small rod or screw, an implant is inserted into your jawbone where your tooth used to be. Your jawbone fuses with the biocompatible titanium screw, effectively creating a metal tooth root to replace the natural one. With a root once again firmly implanted in your jaw, the risk of jawbone deterioration is dramatically reduced, and your chewing ability is safe once again. To learn more, contact your Miami dentist at the Center for Complete Dentistry by calling 305-935-4991, or visit our website to schedule your appointment online. Located in the 33180 area, we proudly serve patients from Miami, Highland Lakes, North Miami Beach, and the surrounding communities.