While you’re thinking about everything you’re grateful for, think about all the things you wouldn’t be able to do without your teeth.
Compared to other body parts, most don’t focus much on their teeth. Many people just brush them occasionally and seldom ever floss. Truthfully, though, such lack of care is a grave mistake; pearly whites are vital to everyday living. If you let them fail or fall out, you’ll lose the crucial abilities they give you. To learn more, just let your local dentist explain. So, here are five useful things you aren’t able to do without your teeth.
You Can’t Speak Properly
As an adult, you likely take clear speech for granted. However, you wouldn’t be able to talk plainly if you were missing all your teeth.
You see, your tongue and lips depend on teeth for speaking. They interact with the latter to pronounce consonants and vowels. As a result, they can’t position themselves when you lack your chompers. You could perhaps still speak, but you’d have to work very hard on pronouncing sounds. The /t/, /f/, and /v/ sounds, especially, will be difficult to say correctly.
You Can’t Chew Food Well
You may already know, but you need teeth to chew food well. Without them, eating is tricky at best and nearly impossible at worst.
Remember: teeth play a big role in your meals. They break up your food into smaller, digestible pieces you can swallow and process. Therefore, you can’t break down foodstuffs effectively when they aren’t present. Instead, you won’t be able to chew tougher fare and will face a higher choking risk. You may have to adopt a soft food diet to compensate, resulting in malnutrition and indigestion.
You Can’t Maintain Your Jaw
It isn’t just your mouth that suffers when you lose teeth. In reality, untreated tooth loss will also degrade your jawbone.
Put simply, your jaw depends on your teeth to maintain itself. The stimulus from chewing preserves its bone tissue. As such, losing your pearly whites will cause your jawbone to erode slowly. This process will weaken your jaw and leave you with a gaunt, sunken-looking face. Worse yet, it’ll deprive your jawbone of the density needed to support certain replacement teeth (implants, etc.).
You Can’t Hold Your Saliva
In all likelihood, you haven’t had a drooling issue since you were a baby. Well, that fact is a clue to a certain truth: you can’t hold back your saliva without your teeth.
Among other things, teeth form an extra barrier to keep saliva in your mouth. Being without them leaves only your lips to halt the flow of drool. These soft muscles can handle the job well enough, but you’ll have to pay more attention than usual to stop spit from running out.
You Can’t Fully Smile
Lastly, you need all your teeth to put forward a “full” smile. Anything less than a full set of them isn’t a complete grin.
Yes, you can technically smile without teeth. All you have to do is open your mouth and pull back your lips. Still, the result is less than ideal. The lack of chompers can lead to confidence issues, as well as anxiety about others’ reactions. You might smile less as a result, which can lead to greater unhappiness.
Ultimately, there are many great things you can’t do without your teeth. That being the case, see your dentist often to ensure your grin stays functional.