Consequences of Missing teeth
While many patients consider missing teeth to be no big deal or part of the "aging process," we assure you that it is not a normal process and that tooth loss can cause more damage than anticipated.
Losing a tooth is a prevalent problem, but there is much more at stake than a noticeable gap between teeth. By the time the average American reaches age 50, he or she will have lost 12 teeth, including all four wisdom teeth. And for adults between the ages of 35 and 44, 69% have lost at least one permanent tooth.
Effect of missing tooth
A healthy mouth can keep major systemic diseases at bay and medications working correctly at current doses. And having a full complement of teeth can improve overall health.
Whether the dentist has extracted the tooth or fallen out, the advice is the same: it's best to replace lost teeth quickly before they cause further damage, both in the mouth and the rest of the body.
When you lose a tooth, it can negatively affect your overall health. If you've been missing a tooth, or several teeth, for a while now, and you haven't replaced them, these are some of the ways that having missing teeth can affect you.
Problems chewing certain foods
Missing teeth can cause a wide variety of health effects. This is mainly because teeth are missing, making it more difficult to chew food properly. This mechanical breakdown helps the digestive system access and absorb nutrients from food, but you can lose that nutritional value when you can't chew properly.
You may avoid certain foods when missing teeth altogether because they are especially difficult or impossible to chew. Meats, nuts, raw vegetables, or other hard foods may be problematic to chew with a gap. The longer you wait to replace a missing tooth, the more nutrients your body loses, and the worse your health could become.
An improper bite (malocclusion) can cause various problems, such as headaches, muscle aches, abnormal tooth wear, tooth loss, sensitivity, and even TMJ disorders.
The presence of neighboring and opposing teeth maintains the teeth' position. When a single tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth will slowly shift toward the newly emptied space. Neighboring teeth will begin to lean laterally into the missing tooth, and the opposing tooth (especially if the missing tooth is in the lower jaw) will fall into the space below.
This also affects the aesthetics of the smile. This displacement can make the teeth appear crooked as they are tilted differently.
Inadequate chewing force
Unfortunately, people are much more likely to remove a back tooth because it doesn't affect the smile's appearance. The problem with that mentality is that it denies the importance of the back in your chewing ability.
Our molars have large, wide chewing surfaces made for grinding food, which is an essential first step in digestion. The lack of a single molar causes a drastic reduction in chewing efficiency.
Increased risk of gum recession
Gum recession almost always occurs on the side of the teeth facing the space. A tooth's presence helps maintain the gum tissue's height between the teeth. If a tooth is missing, the gum does not have the pressure of the adjacent teeth and slowly recede toward the root.
Tooth replacement options
You can avoid the consequences of tooth loss by replacing your missing tooth as soon as possible. In Chandler, AZ, Dr. Baker and his team of experts offer multiple options to restore your smile if you miss one or more teeth.
Transform your smile and give your oral health a boost through our dental services:
- Dental implants - If you're only missing one tooth, you can quickly restore it with a dental implant.
- Dentures - They come in many different configurations to help you replace your missing teeth.
- Partial dentures - For patients who can get dentures, you can get partial dentures for one jaw or a jaw with many missing teeth.
- Dental bridges - These work very well for patients who are missing teeth but are not enough to justify dentures.
The professionals you need for your missing teeth in Chandler, AZ.
A missing tooth is about as bad as it gets when ruining a smile. But the problems of missing teeth go far beyond how a person looks or how embarrassed they may feel.
If you are missing a tooth, you should first make an appointment with your dentist. We offer tooth replacement options, including dental implants, complete dentures, and implant-retained dentures. Visit our website or call us today at (480) 687-5656 to make an appointment.
At Chandler Dentistry, we always recommend replacing missing teeth because we guarantee excellent cosmetic results and save you future treatment and further discomfort in the long run.