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Success S alud MILLION- DOLLAR SMILE There are several negative consequences of missing some or all of your teeth. The most obvious effect is a change in the esthetics of your face. Not only will your smile be influenced by the gaps from missing teeth, but if you’re missing too many teeth, the skin around your mouth will not be supported properly and will start to sag, making you appear older than you are. It can also make it more difficult to chew your food properly and may even affect the way you speak. A very important clinical effect of missing teeth is bone loss. Your bone needs stimulation to maintain its form and density. When a tooth is lost, the lack of stimulation causes a substantial decrease in bone width, height and ultimately volume. There’s a 25% decrease in the width of bone during the first year after tooth loss and this continues over the next few years. Finally, missing even one tooth may have emotional consequences; many people feel less confident about their smile when they are missing teeth. If you’re currently missing any of your teeth, consider replacing them with dental implants, which can look and feel just like natural teeth. ABOUT THE AUTHOR › Dr. Irene Marron-Tarrazzi is a Board Certified Periodontist at Brickell Periodontics, specializing in dental implants and treatment of periodontal diseases. She’s a visiting Assistant Professor at NSU and UF and a National and International speaker in her field; BrickellPerio.com. 32 CHEER UP Fitness regimens, vitamin supplements, doctors visits, dental care and prescription and topical treatments are just some of the ways we boost our health. Add smiling to the list — it’s fast, free and extremely effective. TEX T BY STACY W YNN HEARTY SMILE Smiling has been shown to lower the heart rate, which temporarily reduces blood pressure and can, in fact, relax the entire body. People who smile and laugh more may be less likely to develop heart disease. MOOD IMPROVEMENT Go ahead, make smiling a habit. Putting a smile on your face, even a false one, leads to an increase in endorphins that can completely alter your mood. TRUSTED FACE Want your clients and co-worker to trust you more? Give them a genuine smile. This is not only good for business, it’s good for personal relationships as well. The world is built on good social health.