Tooth loss may not usually be associated with depression and low self esteem, but apparently it is a common problem.
In a recent survey of more than 20,000 members of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGA) 86 per cent of general dentists reported that social embarrassment is one of the major issues associated with tooth loss.
More than half of their patients who had teeth removed avoid social interaction because of it.
Dr H Asuman Kiyak is due to speak on the issue at this week's annual meeting of the AGA. She stated: "The major impact of tooth loss is on the appearance and social relations component of quality of life because people cannot change their appearance with missing teeth."
Although they may find it difficult, Dr Kiyak suggested that there are a number of measures people can take to alleviate these psychological problems.
For example, she notes that speaking to others who have also had teeth removed about their experiences and considering options such as implants or dentures may help.
Dental implants are becoming increasingly popular as a method for replacing a missing tooth as, unlike dentures, they function almost like the real thing.
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