Aesthetically, a missing tooth can ruin your smile and damage your self-confidence. But cosmetic issues are not the only reason to replace a missing tooth. Your dental health and condition affect your overall quality of life, from how you speak to how and what you eat, and may, in some cases, affect your health.
This blog discusses some reasons not to wait to replace missing teeth.
Prevent Jaw Bone Loss
The jaw bone requires constant stimulation to remain strong and healthy. When you have a missing tooth, the jawbone underneath does not receive stimulation and deteriorates. The longer you wait to replace the lost tooth, the more bone tissues disappear and will eventually ruin your appearance. For example, your face may look aged with wrinkles, and the cheeks become sunken.
Prevent Teeth Shifting
A lost tooth leaves an unoccupied space. As a natural response, the surrounding teeth will want to fill it. As such, the teeth may lean towards the space and cause a misalignment of your teeth. Teeth misalignment is a severe issue that ruins your appearance and self-esteem.
Furthermore, misaligned teeth make it hard to chew some foods, and you may even have to give up on your favorite meals. The inability to chew can hurt your gut health. Food not correctly broken down in the mouth can cause digestive problems and other health issues. For example, you may experience constipation, bloating, and other digestive system issues.
Additionally, teeth misalignment can cause jaw joint problems like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, a painful and uncomfortable condition. You can prevent such issues by replacing your teeth with implants or bridges immediately.
Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease is a common problem for people who ignore missing teeth. This dental health problem is characterized by swollen and red gums, consistent bad breath, and bleeding while brushing.
The space left by a missing tooth becomes a thriving ground for bacteria. And since the space is empty, you will likely skip it while brushing or flossing, allowing the bacteria to accumulate.
Gum disease starts as gingivitis and then progresses to periodontal disease. As the gums weaken, they can no longer support the teeth, and you may lose more teeth.
As mentioned earlier, tooth loss can cause teeth misalignment, compromising your chewing capability. This problem affects digestion and can lead to malnutrition due to the inability to eat various food products.
Missing teeth may force you to adopt a diet of soft and processed foods that are unhealthy, especially for individuals with systematic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. Moreover, poor nutrition can cause unhealthy weight loss or gain. The issue also increases the risk of stroke, cancer, and heart disease.
The idea of replacing your tooth now may sound expensive. But you save yourself from future expenses if you replace it immediately. For example, if you don’t replace the missing tooth now, your jawbone will continue to deteriorate. Consequently, you may need a bone grafting procedure to fix the issue, which is a costly and complex process.
It is much more cost effective to replace one missing tooth. If you wait too long to replace the tooth, you may loose more teeth and more bone, leading to higher replacement costs.
Now that you understand the risks of waiting to replace a missing tooth, it is vital to take action right away. Speak with your dentist and determine which option works best to replace your lost tooth. Some options include dental implants, bridges, and dentures.
You can trust us at Crest Hill Family Dental for all your orthodontic and dental care needs. We will assess your dental health and determine the ideal treatment to replace the missing tooth. We will also advise you on how best to care for your teeth to prevent premature wear or loss. Contact us for a consultation.