You should know that your teeth affect your whole body. If your teeth are not healthy, you are not healthy. Bearing that in mind, we will mention now the complications arising from a missing tooth.
A missing tooth affects your bite, speech and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase their chances of wearing out prematurely and you may end up losing more than one tooth.
Tooth loss can lead to poor nutrition and is linked to systemic diseases, such as diabetes and coronary heart disease. Also, missing teeth can affect psychological well-being and the ability to function in the workplace. Your self-esteem can be severely diminished as well.
Do you have missing teeth?
If so, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. When tooth gaps are left untreated, they can cause serious oral health problems that require extensive restorative or cosmetic dentistry. Visiting your dentist and investing in long-lasting, high-quality restorative dentistry can save you time, money and lots of pain in the future. When missing teeth are not replaced, the following conditions can develop:
Teeth Shifting: When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth begin drifting into the gap. Your teeth shift out of alignment. What once was a straight smile can quickly turn into crooked teeth. If you see your dentist soon after you lose a tooth, you can replace it before shifting occurs.
TMJ Syndrome: When teeth shift out of alignment after tooth loss, bite problems can easily develop. Improper occlusion between your upper and lower jaws can damage your joints (TMJ).
Gum Disease/Tooth Decay: Once teeth shift out of alignment, it is harder to reach all the surfaces with your toothbrush or floss. When plaque and bacteria aren’t removed properly, tooth decay and periodontal disease can develop.
Face Shape Alteration: When a tooth is missing from your jaw, the surrounding bone starts to deteriorate. This could quickly lead to face shape alteration, changing your appearance. Bone resorption and atrophy make you look much older. The more severe the resorption the more difficult the dental restoration. By replacing only your missing crown and leaving an empty root area underneath (with bridge placement for example), you don't actually avoid the risk of all the potential complications that may occur.
There are various options for you to replace your missing teeth. You can choose from temporary to long-lasting solutions. Finding the one that works best for you requires an extensive look at your dental and periodontal health status, as well as co-operation between you and your doctor.
Here are some options for you to choose from:
1. Dental Implants
Dental implants are the best long-lasting choice to replace one or more missing teeth. They can be a great alternative to bridges and dentures if you have several missing teeth. They are implanted surgically into your jawbone.
With good oral hygiene, dental implants can last up to 20 years or even more, without the need for replacement. As long as your gums and jaws are healthy, two or more implants can serve as a base of support for several replacement teeth.
Age is not a factor. However, smoking, diseases such as diabetes and radiation therapy to the area can lower the success rate of implant placement. X-rays of your jaws will be taken to evaluate whether they will accommodate implants. Sometimes, other tests or procedures are needed to determine whether implants can be placed properly.
Dental implants are generally the most expensive option, but for patients with good oral health, they are the best choice to avoid further tooth decay or loss. Whenever you replace a tooth, you hope it’ll be the last time. Dental implants give you the best chance of keeping your remaining healthy teeth.
2. Fixed bridges
A dental bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap and a false tooth/teeth in between.
Dentures are removable prosthetic appliances made of acrylic and artificial teeth for partial or completely edentulous patients. The surrounding soft and hard tissues of the mouth support them in place.
As you understand, missing teeth is a serious issue that can cause several complications. Consider visiting your dentist as soon as possible after losing one or more of your pearly whites!
Athina Tsiorva - You Smile Dental Care