While we celebrate when a child loses a primary tooth, losing an adult tooth is not as positive. In fact, tooth loss for an adult can be devastating on many levels. Whether it was a traumatic injury or poor oral health, when a permanent tooth goes missing, there are threats to your appearance, your oral health and your overall well-being.
Fortunately, modern dentistry gives us several options for replacing missing teeth, including dental implants, bridges, partials and dentures. Today’s materials and techniques can make your prosthetic teeth nearly indistinguishable from your natural teeth. However, many patients still shy away from investing in restorative dentistry. Here’s a closer look at what is at stake if you neglect to replace a missing tooth or teeth.
When A Tooth Goes Missing
Besides the wisdom teeth, every tooth in your mouth serves a purpose and keeps your smile and bite in alignment. When just one tooth is removed, it can trigger a disruptive chain of events that affects more than just the way your smile looks. Over time, the surrounding teeth in your mouth drift towards the empty space. This can cause misalignment and crooked teeth as well as create tight spaces in your smile that are hard to clean. In result, tooth decay can become a higher risk when a missing tooth is not replaced.
Depending on their location, missing teeth can also affect your speech and nutritional intake. We rely on certain teeth to pronounce certain syllables and words. In addition, if there are multiple teeth in the mouth, you may begin to favor soft, carbohydrate-rich foods instead of electing the fibrous fruits and vegetables your body needs for optimal health. If there are multiple teeth that are lost without replacement, the unbalanced diet can lead to obesity, diabetes and other threats to your overall well-being.
Finally, missing teeth lead to bone loss. When the jawbone is no longer stimulating with tooth roots during biting and chewing, it begins to resorb into the body. This can cause your jawbone to lose density and form, which creates a sunken appearance in your lower face. You may find that you look much older than you really are. To avoid bone loss after missing teeth, dental implants must be used, as they are the only restorative dentistry option that replaces both the tooth root and the missing tooth.
Discover Your Options in Restorative Dentistry
Do you have a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth? Schedule your visit Dr. Wayne Suway. Not only do we offer a full menu of options in restorative dentistry, but we go to great lengths to ensure your tooth replacement process is seamless and rewarding.