You may not be worried that you’ve lost a tooth, especially if the gap doesn’t show when you smile. But did you know that there are dangers that come with not replacing a missing tooth? While it might not be noticeable at first, your oral structures are changing without a tooth. Don’t become a victim of these four dangers of not replacing your lost tooth!
1. Jawbone Loss
One of the biggest concerns with tooth loss is the subsequent bone loss that occurs in your jaw. Over time, this bone will atrophy (shrink away), creating a “divot” where your tooth once was. This can increase the risk for surrounding teeth becoming loose.
2. Changing Bite
Along with jawbone loss comes the risk of your surrounding teeth shifting out of place. This will cause a noticeable change in your bite that may lead to TMJ problems and difficult biting and chewing foods comfortably.
3. Risk of Decay or Disease
Shifting teeth can make it more difficult to brush and floss properly. If food debris and plaque is not cleared from the teeth, it will harden into calculus that releases bacteria. This can put you at risk for developing gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.
Even if the tooth you’ve lost isn’t visible when you smile (but especially when it is) this can cause feelings of self-consciousness. As your mouth changes because of this missing tooth, you may become more embarrassed and discouraged over time.
Options for Replacing a Missing Tooth
The good news is you have many tooth replacement options if you’ve lost a tooth! You can always choose a partial denture, but this may not give you the function you want, especially for a back molar. Another option is a dental bridge, which can restore the look and strength of your missing tooth. It requires healthy, strong adjacent teeth, which may not be possible if you lost your tooth years ago. The most ideal option for virtually all patients is dental implants. This solution replaces just your missing tooth, from the root to the visible crown. It restores over 99% normal biting and chewing function and looks completely natural!
Schedule Your Consultation
Interested in replacing your missing tooth? Speak with your local dentist by scheduling a consultation today