While your teeth are meant to last a lifetime, there are times when tooth loss occurs. When it does happen, it shouldn’t be ignored. There is a reason that dental implants exist. Your smile function, health and appearance rely on a complete set of teeth. While you may be inclined to believe that neglecting a missing back molar won’t cause any harm, you are sadly mistaken. Any adult tooth that is lost and not replaced can put you at risk for the following consequences.
#1 Poor Chewing Ability
It’s not all about aesthetics when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Your teeth are made to help you eat and break down food. When teeth are missing, your chewing ability and chewing efficiency are compromised. Eating can be a challenge when food gets trapped in an empty space, and it can even be painful when something hits the tender gum area where your tooth used to be.
#2 Shifting Adjacent Teeth
When a missing tooth is not replaced, the neighboring teeth will eventually begin to move towards the empty space. Unfortunately, this can throw your entire bite alignment out of whack. You may suffer from crooked teeth or even jaw problems that result from misalignment.
#3 Compromised Appearance
If you are missing a tooth in the front of your mouth, the aesthetic consequences may be obvious. However, your appearance can suffer in other ways too. Missing teeth means that your jaw bone is not properly stimulated. Therefore, the jaw bone starts to atrophy over time and facial collapse can result. This is also known as premature facial aging because the lower face can appear wrinkled, droopy or sunken in.
#4 Greater Risk Of Gum Disease
When food gets trapped in empty spaces or plaque accumulates in small crevices that are difficult to clean, a host of problems can occur. Unfortunately, missing teeth set the stage for this due to the compromised chewing efficiency and adjacent teeth shifting that were mentioned above. Once this bacteria and plaque cause inflammation in the gums, the condition can worsen to advanced periodontitis if not treated. At this stage, you are at a significant risk for further tooth loss. In fact, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the United States.
Tooth loss can happen a number of ways, including periodontal disease, congenital absence, trauma or a mechanical failure. Regardless of the reason for your tooth loss, there is no way around the fact that your tooth needs to be replaced. Dental implants are the most preferred solution for doing so. To learn more about dental implants and how they can benefit you, please contact Dr. Wayne Suway. When it comes to replacing a missing tooth, time is of the essence.