People Without Teeth
In the United States, people without teeth (complete edentulism) make up 26% of the population between the ages of 65 and 74. Under World Health Organization criteria, these people are considered disabled because of their inability to eat and speak effectively.
Result of Tooth Loss
The chief result of tooth loss is the diminished quality and quantity of the residual jawbone. Without a properly functioning masticatory system, nutrition suffers and overall health is likely to decline. This physical impairment is also associated with systemic factors--including osteoporosis, hypertension and coronary arterydisease, smoking and asthma, diabetes, neuropathy and dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers and a decline in one's general satisfaction with life.
Denture wearers should keep their overall health in mind, particularly their ability to maintain a balanced and nutritional diet. They should see their prosthodontist often to keep their dentures well-fitting to minimize bone loss, tissue irritation, and functional problems.
Patients who are contemplating removal of their natural teeth need to be aware of the potential systemic conditions that are associated with tooth removal and tooth loss.
Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309