One of the biggest assumptions made when it comes to tooth loss, is that if it is not in the front where people will notice then you are fine to just ignore it. This is a huge mistake. Not only is replacing missing teeth important for your appearance but extremely critical for your health as well. Dr. Sean Kennelly recommends that you come into our dental office in Centennial, CO, for a consultation and he can come up with the best plan of action for you.
Common misconceptions are made all the time about your teeth and the importance of them. In some cases people will even ignore the fact that their front teeth are missing and only worry about replacing back teeth so that they can maintain their chewing capabilities. There’s so many different theories about why it is not a big deal to leave them out, but the truth of the matter is it will only negatively affect you if you do not replace missing teeth. And here are a couple of reasons why.
Teeth may shift or loosen.
All of your teeth believe it or not have a specific role in your mouth. Whether it is a big one like helping you chew your food, or something as simple as staying in its place to keep the alignment of your teeth steady, they all are important. When you lose one, all can be impacted. So even though your teeth are firmly attached to your jawbone, they still can shift over time for multiple reasons. One of them being missing teeth. Because when there is a gap from a missing tooth, your teeth will naturally try to fill in the vast spaces and shift to fit in the gap area, therefore causing the domino effect and more room for other teeth to continually shift .
It may affect your mental health.
Everyone has lost a tooth at some point and should know how its more difficult to chew or smile often when you have a hole in your smile. Now as a kid we may have been able to ignore it for some time but as adults that is a whole other story. With some people, the loss of teeth can cause quite a noticeable difference in their speech patterns. Whether it is giving them a lisp or making it harder for them to pronounce certain words, it can really start to take a toll on a person. In turn causing them to lose some of the self-confidence that they have. Not smiling often because you feel that people will view you differently if you are missing teeth and being afraid to speak up a times because you are frustrated at how difficult it is to pronounce some things are all negative impacts of leaving missing teeth un-replaced.
It can change your face structure.
It has been researched and discovered that even the loss of a back tooth can cause your mouth to shift, in turn potentially making your face look older. The fact that every part of your face is intertwined means that if something changes or you lose a tooth, it can impact a lot. So when you lose a tooth, it can cause your muscles to droop and bone to deteriorate over time. To avoid having your appearance age dramatically at an unreasonable age, it is best to replace any missing teeth so that they can help keep others aligned making sure that your mouth is as healthy as it can be. For a better understanding if you’ve ever seen someone with removable dentures when they take them out, you’ll have a sense of the effects of missing teeth on appearance.
It can lead to bone loss.
The leading cause of jaw bone loss is due to failure to replace missing teeth. Your teeth are what helps stimulate and continually support the bone of your jaw. Just like how when you exercise it helps support and stimulate muscle health. And so if you are missing teeth, the bone that was once supporting them is no longer being stimulated. Much of the same way that when you stop working out and exercising unused muscles can become atrophied just like your jaw bone does in a case like this. So replacing missing teeth in situations like this is important because dental implants include screws that fuse with the bone to help provide maximum support and strength.
Can cause bite irregularities.
When you are missing teeth, your chewing surface changes and this is what determines your bite. So when you have been chewing a certain way for so long and then lose a tooth, it can cause the rest of your teeth to shift dramatically therefore affecting your bite because you start to chew differently. Missing multiple teeth or even just one can start to cause these irregularities in your bite that can negatively impact your remaining teeth, your gums, your neck, head, and your jaw muscles and joint. For example, headaches, muscle pain, more tooth loss, and unnatural wearing of the teeth are all negative impacts from not replacing missing teeth.
So the reality of it is that by not replacing one or more lost teeth, it could be very detrimental to the health and functionality of your smile. And by failing to replace a tooth, you are leaving yourself at risk of developing additional, more costly problems that may interfere with your everyday life. Visit our cosmetic dentistry page to find out more about what we can do to help with any missing teeth you have. A smile says a lot about a person and we want yours to be confident and the best that it can be!