Why It's Important to Replace a Missing Tooth Even If It's Not Noticeable?
Posted on 7/27/2022 by Neil Starr DDS PC
|Your teeth are what make up your mouth’s structure, which is why it’s essential to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible. If you find yourself needing to have a tooth extracted, you’ll want to consider dental implants to preserve your jaw structure.
But sometimes, a patient may disregard dental implants. There are various reasons why someone might do this; they may not be able to afford an implant, or they might simply not want to go through the process. Whatever the case, I urge you to maintain an open mind— it just might be the perfect procedure to get you the smile you want!
Your smile is one of the first thing that people notice when they look at you, and having a smile that helps you feel confident is something that everyone deserves. Here is why it’s important to consider all your options and why you should replace a missing tooth, even if it’s not noticeable.
Tooth Loss Causes
Before we go into why you should replace a broken tooth , it’s crucial to understand what can cause tooth loss. You may have a tooth now that needs to be replaced, but knowing what causes tooth loss can help you avoid a repeat incident in the future.
Tooth Decay: Cavities are a primary cause of tooth decay, especially if they go untreated. When you consume too much sugar, whether from soft drinks or candy, bacteria in the plaque convert that sugar into acid. This acid wears down the enamel on your teeth, weakening your tooth structure.
Gum Disease: Healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth. Gum disease occurs when a severe infection damages the tissue that holds your teeth in place. This can lead to bone deterioration and ultimately tooth loss.
Signs that you may be suffering from gum disease include inflammation, bleeding, and discomfort. I often see gum disease in middle-aged and elderly patients, though it’s not uncommon for younger patients to develop it due to poor oral hygiene.
Dental Trauma: It’s possible to see dental trauma in younger patients involved in sports. Dental trauma happens during harsh impact and can be minimized by wearing a mouthguard when taking part in high-contact or risky activities.
Teeth Can Shift and Loosen
Teeth stabilize one another, and the rest begin to misalign when one goes. One thing that these cases share in common, though, is that they compromise the jaw’s integrity in one way or another, which is something that you definitely want to avoid. Replacing that missing tooth as soon as possible can help you avoid this.
Teeth can start to drift out of place, change your bite, lead to gum disease, and even trigger tooth decay. As time goes on, you may also notice a domino effect where more of your teeth begin to fall out due to profound structural changes in the jaw— failure to replace a missing tooth can spike the chances of losing more teeth.
Dental Implants Can Save Your Facial Structure
Losing even one molar can cause your mouth to shift, impacting your smile. Every aspect of your face connects in one way or another, and when one part is changed, it can change the others. Tooth loss can lead to bone deterioration and drooping muscles, making you appear older than you are.
Think of an older person who relies on dentures. When they aren’t wearing them, they don’t have teeth that stack on each other to preserve their jaw structure. As a result, they suffer from a sunken jaw structure— this is a direct result of bone deterioration and weakened muscles.
Replacing a Tooth Can Improve Confidence
We’ve all had to deal with a missing tooth at some point in our lives. As a kid, you lose your teeth to make room for your adult teeth; however, losing a tooth as an adult is much more serious and will require prompt attention.
Missing teeth as an adult can affect speech patterns, cause discomfort, and lead to difficulty eating. Over time, these things can lead to frustration and decrease an individual's self-confidence. Patients missing a tooth or several teeth may also experience a crooked smile, a less than ideal outcome that will take intensive care to realign once settled.
Missing Teeth Can Impact Your Health
Another reason you should replace a missing tooth is that you may put your health at risk by not doing so. Missing teeth can impact the foods you’re able to eat, and if you don’t replace these foods with a supplemental alternative, you could develop deficiencies.
I’ve touched on gum disease, but I haven’t mentioned that it can be the starting point for a variety of other serious health issues. Pockets, where teeth used to stand, can act as a breeding ground for bacteria, and gum disease can spiral into more severe problems like heart disease, diabetes, and can even lead to cancer.
Tooth Loss Can Lead to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
We have muscles on the side of our head called the temporomandibular joints. These muscles help us chew and rotate our jaws, making them crucial for our facial structure and everyday functions like eating and speaking. A missing tooth can lead to TMJ disorder, which causes extreme pain and affects how these muscles operate.
By opting for dental implants, you can prevent TMJ and avoid treating it later down the road.
Schedule a Dental Implant Procedure with Neil L. Starr
If you need to replace a missing tooth, schedule an appointment with us. I’ll take a look at your smile so that we can come up with a plan of action and restore your smile to its natural state. I serve patients from all over the Greater Washington D.C. area, so whether you’re in Bethesda or Rockville, you won’t find a more qualified prosthodontist around.
Give us a call at (202) 293-7177 or fill out our secure online appointment form today!