Tooth loss may occur for some people. The students need to realize that it can be corrected, but of course keeping their own teeth should be their main goal. You may wish to go over some of the things that happen to the mouth and body when teeth are lost. This may be done in a note-taking activity.
Explain to the students that after a permanent tooth has been lost, the teeth on either side of the space gradually tilt toward the gap, and the teeth in the opposite jaw begin to slip vertically toward the space. This encourages further caries and periodontal disease, so missing teeth should be replaced if at all possible.
It is natural for the bony base of the jaw to shrink because of this a denture will require regular relining to prevent movement that could encourage further shrinking of the tissues adjacent to the dentures.
Tooth loss can affect a person's nutrition. A person would be unable to eat some foods, such as meats and hard fruits and vegetables, if they do not have teeth. If the teeth are not replaced, a person's overall health would be affected.
Tooth loss drastically affects speech. Without teeth, people would have a hard time enunciating words. A person's face would look very different without teeth; the mouth would be sunken and drawn in.
Very few people like to speak without their dentures. It is hard to understand the person because of missing teeth.
Throughout this unit we have discussed both healthy and unhealthy mouths. We must realize that we can choose which type of mouth that we will have. Have the students take a piece of paper and fold it in half. Label the left hand column “choice” and the right hand column “consequence.” You may model this on the board or overhead. Have the students work with partners to list choices that they may make that will affect their oral health, then in the consequence column list what might occur if they make that choice. Encourage the students to list positive choices as well as negative choices. Example: a choice might be “eating apples”; the consequence would be "cleans the teeth.”
Health promotion, oral health, speech, self assessment, oral health journal, tooth loss, tooth replacement, dental restoration, oral health habit, choice, oral hygiene, denture