Are you one of the 69% of American adults between the ages of 35 to 45 who are missing one or more teeth? Perhaps the tooth you are missing is towards the back of your mouth and it isn’t noticeable when you smile.Maybe you have adjusted how you chew and eat foods to the side of your mouth where you have all of your teeth. If you have a missing tooth and you don’t really think there is a problem with the hidden space, you may want to reconsider your decision
It’s important to realize that failing to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth can have a serious impact on your long term dental health, not to mention the health of the rest of your teeth. Let’s start by talking through what type of effect the “space” that is left behind from a missing tooth has on your smile. Any space or gap in your smile will allow for your teeth to shift, messing up the alignment of your teeth. If you have ever taken the time and expense to straighten your teeth with braces; a missing tooth can cause your teeth to relapse. Maybe your teeth are already crooked? Having a missing tooth can cause further shifting and possible bite issues.
The space from a missing tooth can create a food trap, which attracts bacteria and other debris. Any increase in bacteria promotes the development of periodontal disease and tooth decay.It would be a shame to lose another tooth due to problems from an initial tooth loss. Periodontal disease is already the number one cause of tooth loss for people older than thirty five.
Most people don’t realize that tooth loss is directly linked to bone loss, the most problematic long term issue with regards to missing teeth. It is important to act quickly and not wait to replace a missing tooth. A tooth and its root cause stimulation to your jaw and the alveolar bone. When a tooth is missing and there is no longer root stimulation, the alveolar begins to diminish. Studies show that in the first year of having a missing tooth, there can be up to a 25% loss in the bone structure. Bone loss makes it more difficult to wear dentures, and harder to place other types of tooth replacements like dental implants, partials or bridges.
If you lose a tooth or multiple teeth be sure to make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your tooth replacement options. An experienced and reputable dentist will be able to help you find a replacement option that fits your budget and your lifestyle.