Losing a natural tooth is never a welcome circumstance. However, it can happen due to a variety of reasons, ranging from a sudden mouth trauma to severe decay. Nonetheless, you may be under the assumption that it is okay to be without a single missing tooth. If the gap is in the back of your mouth or doesn’t compromise your speech, it’s okay to neglect replacing it, right? Think again. There are many drawbacks to missing teeth, even if it is just a single loss. While some of the consequences are obvious and happen immediately, others take time to develop.
The most obvious drawback of a missing tooth is your smile appearance. If the tooth was located in the front, you may be covering up your smile in embarrassment.
Yes, even just one tooth can jeopardize the functional capabilities of your teeth, which includes your speech and chewing abilities. In fact, a missing back molar may force you to change the way you bite, which can put uneven pressure on your jaw muscles over time or prematurely wear down certain teeth.
How can a single missing tooth affect your oral health? The culprit is shifting teeth. It doesn’t take long for your adjacent teeth to migrate towards the open gap. This can create crooked teeth and tight spaces in your smile that are difficult to keep clean. Consequently, you become more vulnerable to decay and gum disease. Some patients suffer such as dramatic alignment change that they need orthodontics or suffer TMJ problems.
The most inconspicuous repercussion of a missing tooth is bone loss. While it happens discreetly and gradually, it is no less serious. If the underlying jawbone doesn’t receive adequate stimulation from a tooth root, it can deteriorate or atrophy over time. This can make it difficult to get dental implants in the future as well as lead to premature facial aging as your lower face sinks in.
As you can see, the drawbacks of a single missing tooth are significant. If you have recently lost a tooth or had one extracted, it is highly recommended that you take your next step in restorative dentistry. Grateful Dental offers comfortable, natural-looking solutions in teeth replacement so that you don’t have to suffer the obstacles of a gapped smile.