Missing teeth have a significant impact on our lives; over 50% of people in the United States miss at least one tooth due to gum disease, tooth decay, or a traumatic injury, and missing teeth are felt everywhere. The answers to replacing missing teeth can appear obvious to anyone. Still, we don’t usually think about the long-term consequences for everyday people that can occur with missing even just one tooth. Missing teeth can not only affect one’s confidence in their appearance but affect their overall physical and mental health. Here are the reasons why we suggest heading to your dentist for a tooth replacement!
- Chewing Food – With a complete set of 28 chompers, you can chew your food better. Your jawbone is designed to operate with that full set of teeth, and with each tooth missing, you lose about 10% of your chewing ability.
- Speech Patterns – Having missing teeth can also affect the way you speak to others. Lips, spaces to pronounce words and sounds can become more strenuous to achieve and can lead to an inconsistent speech pattern that can be discomforting.
- Misalignment – As a result of this change, your teeth will attempt to adjust; they’ll shift into the missing space and create changes in your appearance. This effect also makes your teeth more prone to tooth decay and gum disease as time goes on.
- Jaw Shrinkage – Your missing teeth can highly impact your jaw. As your teeth attempt to compensate for the lost space, the jawbone will also begin to shrink over time. When the missing tooth doesn’t stimulate the gums and bones, they pull back, and over time can create the appearance of a degrading jawbone, which affects the entire structure of your teeth completely.
- TMJ Disorder – This deterioration of the jaw can also lead to TMJ Disorder or temporomandibular joint disorder. This condition changes the way muscles and jawbones react to movement, resulting in physical pain while eating and speaking.
- Mental Health – For any missing tooth, not only can it be challenging to chew your food, but also appreciate your smile. This loss of self-confidence can create problems with socializing, issues with self-image, and unhealthy habits later on down the road.
All of these issues affect people’s lives every day, and today’s modern dental technology can treat these issues by replacing the tooth entirely. Whether it’s a single tooth or your full arch, dentists can completely restore the mouth with numerous restorative devices and methods, such as:
- Implants – As one of the best options for replacing teeth, implants are tooth replacements embedded into the bone to prevent bone loss and don’t even have to be replaced or adjusted once installed.
- Bridges – Bridges replace multiple sections of teeth by attaching to the neighboring, healthy teeth. Bridges help prevent bone loss and help prevent the remaining teeth from shifting.
- Dentures – An entire arch of teeth can be replaced with either partial or full dentures and don’t require any surgery to be used. They use the suctioning of your gums and clips to be placed in and are replaceable if broken or damaged.
If you’re missing teeth and wish to reduce your risks, talk with Dr. Sam S. Sadati at The Sadati Center for Aesthetic Dentistry in Wellington, FL, for more information on how we can treat your teeth.