Norfolk County Dental Associates
158 Main Street
Norfolk, Massachusetts 02056
In the past, the loss of teeth
(edentulism) was dismissed as a natural part of the aging process, and dentures were considered a normal sign of old age.
While such ignorance is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, there is still not a general awareness of the seriousness of edentulism. Multiple tooth loss is most commonly caused by periodontal disease,
i.e. gum and bone disease. Periodontal disease has a high statistical correlation with chronic debilitating disease, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis.
So it is not very surprising that studies now show a shortened life expectancy by as much as 10 years for persons who have lost their natural teeth, when compared to those who have kept their teeth.
In addition to longevity, quality-of-life differences are just as significant. The functional efficiency of dentures has been measured to be only 20% of that of natural teeth. Can there be any doubt that nutritional deficiencies will be much more prevalent in those without their natural teeth?
Loss of teeth often causes a feeling of loss of wholeness and a sense of deterioration and aging. Given these factors, preservation of the natural teeth is integral to whole-person wellness.