Why It’s so Important to Replace Missing Teeth
When it comes to your oral health, keeping your teeth strong, and hey, just keeping your teeth, every single one counts! Whether you’ve lost a tooth due to poor oral hygiene habits or have experienced some sort of facial injury knocking one out, it’s important to see your dentist for an evaluation as soon as possible. Swift action is your best bet for replacement options and a quick fix. Unfortunately, if you fail to take immediate action, the consequences could be great, causing you to suffer unnecessary negative effects to your teeth, gums, jawbone and even appearance (not to mention your self-esteem).
Depending on the severity of your tooth loss situation and how many teeth have been affected, there are several options that your dentist can discuss with you to move forward with repair and/or replacement. For example, your dentist might suggest implants, a fixed bridge, removable bridges, etc. But, again, you must address the issue as soon as possible for the best possible outcome. If you don’t take action, the consequences might include:
- Shifting – When you experience tooth lose, an open space is created within your mouth. But, this space won’t necessarily just stay open. Unfortunately, this opening allows neighboring teeth to drift and move out of alignment with the rest of your teeth causing your once-straight smile to turn crooked and your normal bite to shift.
- Tooth Decay – Once this shifting of your teeth occurs, it can present more issues than just a misaligned smile and bite. When teeth move, it can make regular oral hygiene habits, like proper brushing and flossing, more difficult, as you may no longer be able to reach the same places that you once were able to when your teeth were in proper alignment. This can result in the buildup of bacteria and plaque that lead to periodontal disease and even the decay and loss of your remaining teeth.
- Jaw Strain – When you have holes and gaps in your teeth (that weren’t there before), you will experience a change in your bite. Your teeth and jaws will no longer make contact with one another in the same way that they did before you experienced tooth loss. This, as you might imagine, puts added strain on your jaw joint that can result in the development of TMJ disorder.
- Change in Appearance – Since your gums and jawbone are no longer stimulated in the same areas as they were before you experienced tooth loss, your actual physical facial appearance might change. This is one reason why dental implants are recommended. They replace the root of a tooth or several teeth to replace and provide stimulation to prevent bone loss. When you don’t take action to replace the root, your jawbone will start to deteriorate, altering the shape of your face. This change in facial appearance will particularly effect the cheeks which will look more sunken and aged.
Having a healthy smile is important for both your mental and physical well-being, so taking action to replace missing teeth is essential. Fortunately, if missing teeth are replaced in a timely manner, you can continue to have your healthy smile for years to come.