Everyone knows that teeth are very helpful when it comes to chewing your food and eating. However, you probably don’t think about the other ways that your teeth impact oral health and other functions. Unless you have experienced tooth loss, you may not realize how important your teeth are for a variety of different things. Continue reading to learn more from your dentist about the things you wouldn’t be able to do as easily if you didn’t have any teeth.
When you talk, your tongue and lips interact with your teeth to restrict the airflow in certain ways in order to give you the ability to pronounce different consonants and vowels. If you didn’t have any teeth, you would obviously still be able to speak, but pronouncing certain sounds would be more difficult, making you more likely to butcher up your words.
Producing and Holding Your Saliva
Your teeth help you to have an adequate level of saliva production because when you chew, you are stimulating your salivary glands. Saliva helps you to pre-digest your food so that the rest of your digestive system can do its job properly.
Teeth also act as an additional barrier that prevents saliva from exiting your mouth. If you didn’t have any teeth, your lips could still hold it in, but you would be more likely to accidently drool if you aren’t making an extra effort to stop it.
Maintaining Jawbone Structure
When you have teeth, chances are that you will be using them to chew. The act of chewing stimulates the jawbone, triggering the body to constantly reinforce it. However, if you stop chewing, your body will reabsorb the bone and it will deteriorate over time. When these bones become less dense, you are more likely to encounter fractures, experience a change in your facial structure, and lose gum tissue. It can even limit the number of dental procedures that you would be a candidate for, like dental implant surgery.
Smiling with Confidence
Even though you can still smile even if you don’t have teeth, you may be less likely to. Having a lack of teeth can make you feel extremely self-conscious because you know that others will notice. When you smile, your brain releases neuropeptides to fight off stress and neurotransmitters which act as mild pain relievers and even make you happier. If you don’t smile, your overall happiness could decrease.
Preventing Health Issues
There are all sorts of health issues that can occur as a result of a lack of teeth. If you are chewing food using your gums, you could develop periodontal disease or TMJ problems. You are also less likely to eat and break down certain foods which can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Lacking vitamins, minerals, and enzymes causes numerous complications throughout the body.
Your teeth are even more important than you may think, so it’s important that you keep them healthy. Preventing oral health problems is key to keeping your teeth for a lifetime!
About the Author
Dr. Raj Vekariya first graduated from dental school in India before moving to the U.S. and attending New York University’s College of Dentistry. In addition to his Doctor of Dental Surgery, he has completed his Certificate program in Esthetic and Comprehensive Dentistry. To learn more about your smile or to schedule an appointment at his practice in Canonsburg, visit his website or call (724) 300-3700.