According to the American College of Prosthodontists, about 178 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth and these numbers are expected to grow within the next two decades. It is very important to always replace a tooth that you have lost as soon as possible. It is more than just about the way you look. Rather, it is about the health of your mouth, jaw, and body, which are all designed to work together at peak performance.
When you have a tooth that is missing, this can cause many problems including:
Your jaw has space for and is designed to operate with 28 teeth. If one of those placeholders fall out, then the surrounding teeth begin to shift to fill this empty space, resulting in all of your teeth being moved out of alignment. This can cause a biting problem because when the lower and upper jaws don’t meet properly, it can strain and damage the jaw joint. In some cases, the remaining teeth can super erupt and cause increased sensitivity to temperature extremes and sweets.
Decay of the Remaining Healthy Teeth
Once there is a shift, this can make it hard to reach all of the areas of your mouth to clean properly. Also, having an extra space in the mouth just allows for one more place for bacteria to generate and grow, spreading to other teeth. If not washed away properly, periodontal disease can develop and cause further tooth loss.
Possible Digestive Problems
The mouth is the starting point of the digestive system. Having a missing tooth can change the way you chew food and, therefore, digest it. You may begin to chew only on one side of the mouth, or you may simply not chew your food enough. This can lead to choking, acid reflux, and other digestive problems. With a missing tooth, you would need to give up certain foods you enjoy if you don’t get it replaced with a dental implant.
The roots of your teeth are necessary for healthy bone development. When you chew your food, it helps to stimulate the root structure, thus stimulating the underlying bone. When you lose a tooth, the bone that is not being stimulated begins to resorb. Bone deterioration alters the face by making it appear sunken-in and misshapen. Also, the jawbone starts to become less functional and cannot support the surrounding teeth.
Depending on the part of your mouth that is missing a tooth or multiple teeth, you could find yourself slurring some words. Your teeth and how your tongue uses them help form letters and words correctly. Having a missing tooth could alter your speech and change the amount of thought you have to put into saying certain words in order to avoid lisping or spitting.
When you lose a tooth, you may also lose a bit or your self esteem. Whether your face and speech are altered or something is simply missing from your normally bright smile, this can negatively impact your confidence level. You may start to look and feel older, which is why you need to replace a tooth as soon as possible.
The longer you wait on a missing tooth, the more bone volume you lose and thus, the more difficult and expensive it is to replace it with a dental implant. Our friendly and knowledgeable dentists are trained and ready to help boost your self-esteem. Contact us today to get your full, vibrant smile back!