Missing tooth can happen for a variety of reasons. While severe tooth decay and gum disease are common causes of tooth extractions, you may also lose a tooth as the result of an injury. In rare instances, some people are born without one or more permanent teeth.
This causes a gap to form in the place after a baby tooth falls out. Whatever the cause may be for your missing tooth, filling in the gap allows you to avoid the worst things that could happen if you fail to replace the tooth.
Prevent Your Teeth from Falling Out of Alignment
Your teeth are held in place by the other teeth in your mouth as well as the ligaments and soft tissues that surround them. With a missing tooth, there is no longer the same level of tension in your jaw that holds your teeth in the desirable positions.
Over time, you may discover that your teeth slowly begin to move out of position to fill in the gap. While you might look forward to the gap getting smaller, these subtle changes in your bite can make it hard to eat and chew properly. Teeth that are out of alignment are also more likely to be broken due to improper forces that are applied to their surface as you eat.
Avoid the Risk of Gum Disease and Tooth Decay to Prevent Missing Tooth
Large gaps in your mouth make it harder for you to follow proper oral hygiene procedures. You may also find that food particles tend to get stuck in the gap. And this only gets worse if your teeth begin to shift out of place. Unfortunately, your risk of tooth decay and gum disease increases after you lose a tooth. Replacing it helps you to keep up with your oral hygiene.
Reduce Bone Loss in Your Jaw
Each tooth in your mouth rests in a special socket in your jawbone. As you eat and speak, the movements that your mouth makes send signals to the nerves in your jaw. They stimulate bone growth and retention. Once a tooth is lost, these signals are no longer sent to the jaw, which leads to bone loss.
If enough bone mass is lost in your jaw, then you may also risk losing support for your other teeth. Today, treatment options such as dental implants can provide similar stimulation to your jawbone as natural teeth so that bone loss is minimized.
Feel Confident with Your Appearance
People sometimes worry less about losing a back tooth than they do a front one. However, even a missing back tooth may alter how you speak or your ability to eat your favorite foods. Failing to replace a missing front tooth can also cause you to feel uncomfortable when you are in public or must participate in an activity such as going to a job interview. Tooth replacement allows you to feel confident in any situation.
Ask About Your Options for Tooth Replacement
While it is natural to be apprehensive about a major dental restoration, you can rest assured that there are many options available to fit your financial or personal needs. Talk to your dentist about the ways that you can fill in missing teeth. For instance, you may be a candidate for an implant that functions much like your regular teeth. Or you may prefer removable dentures if you anticipate future changes in your mouth.
Ignoring a missing tooth sadly can lead to further deterioration in your smile that affects your health and happiness. Now that you understand the importance of tooth replacement, reach out to discover your best options for treatment.