Fix Your Missing Tooth for a Healthier Smile
By the time most adults hit middle age, they will likely have at least one missing tooth. The most common causes of missing teeth are injuries, tooth decay and gum disease. Injuries can occur from physical activity or an accident, but tooth decay and gum disease are a result of poor oral hygiene.
The importance of getting your missing tooth replaced
When it comes to missing teeth, the most common reason people have them replaced is that they want to improve the appearance of their teeth. That makes it less embarrassing to smile in public. Even though one’s appearance is important, there are other reasons why dentists recommend replacing a missing tooth as soon as possible.
Some of the reasons why a missing tooth should be replaced include:
Maintaining facial structure
The bones in the body are just like the muscles in the sense that they have to be stimulated. The bones in the jaw are stimulated when people eat. The force of biting and chewing travels down the root of the teeth to the bone.
When a person loses a tooth, the bone under where the tooth used to be starts to weaken and lose density. When a person loses more than one tooth, the effect is even more pronounced. This can lead to the face having a sunken appearance that makes the person appear older than they are.
Chewing and bite problems
Each tooth in the mouth plays a vital role in helping people chew and grind their food. Having one or more missing teeth can cause a shift of bite pressure from one tooth onto another, which cause the teeth to move into the space created by a missing tooth over time.
Failure to replace the missing tooth can also lead to soreness or inflammation of the gums. The space created by the missing tooth is exposed while chewing, putting a lot of pressure on the exposed gums.
In addition to making chewing food difficult, a missing tooth can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease. It is easier for plaque to build in places in the mouth that are difficult to clean, such as a hole from a missing tooth. This makes the gums more susceptible to infection and disease.
Missing teeth, especially the front teeth, make speaking more difficult because there are some words that cannot be articulated properly without the front teeth. Failure to replace a missing tooth makes it difficult to communicate properly and also makes the person less likely to speak in public out of fear of ridicule.
Replacing missing teeth
Some of the best ways to replace missing teeth include:
These are considered the best way to replace missing teeth. The implants are held in place by titanium posts which stimulate tooth roots and help to preserve the patient’s facial structure.
These are used to replace missing teeth when there are still some natural teeth left in the mouth. The artificial tooth is held in place by two dental crowns, which are attached to the adjacent natural teeth.
These are used when there are multiple missing teeth. They are not as durable as implants or bridges but they are still very effective.
Having a missing tooth can lead to some unwanted problems. That is why dentists recommend replacing them as soon as possible. If you have one or more missing teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist to go over your replacement options.
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