Tooth loss results from a variety of causes such as tooth decay, gum disease, injuries or other oral health issues. For some people, it feels uncomfortable or embarrassing to have a gap in your smile. Besides affecting your appearance, a missing tooth can be harmful to your dental health.
This is why it is essential to replace missing teeth the moment they fall out with dental implants, dental bridges, removable partial dentures, etc. Failing to do so can lead to serious health issues.
Reasons Why Replacing Missing Teeth Is Vital
Missing teeth will make you look older.
Missing teeth dramatically affect a person’s appearance. The longer that restoration treatments are avoided. Your face may take on a sunken look, and the jawbone may shrink, which results in a shorter vertical facial appearance.
The jawbone will shrink and weaken.
When a tooth is lost, the jawbone starts to shrink via a process called resorption. The longer a tooth has been missing due to injury, disease, or extraction, the more advanced the shrinking. A shrunken jawbone results in more difficulty with a future restoration as there is less bone to secure dentures or dental implants. The jawbone also becomes noticeably smaller, giving the face a sunken appearance.
Teeth can shift and become loose.
When teeth are lined up in a row, they keep each other stably in place. When you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, there is a possibility of the teeth starting to shift. Teeth will drift or move out of place, which leads to potential gum disease and possible tooth decay.
Loss of function.
Your teeth have a purpose. They are used for smiling, eating and communicating. When you are missing one or several teeth, it may affect your ability to pronounce certain words correctly. Missing teeth may also affect your ability to chew and digest food properly.
Your bite will change and may cause chronic jaw pain.
Gaps or spaces left due to missing teeth will alter your bite and alignment of teeth as the jaw closes. This jaw alignment alteration is called an off-bite relationship. Over time, the off-bite relationship can lead to acute, chronic pain. This condition is called TMJ disorder, which is a reference to the temporomandibular joint.
Advancements in dental technology make it easy to replace a missing tooth or teeth when done early. Contact us to learn which treatment is best for your smile. Acting quickly to replace a missing tooth will help you maintain your teeth’ looks and function and your smile.
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