It can be disheartening and unsettling if you are missing a tooth. No matter the reason—whether it is decay, physical trauma, gum disease, a medical condition, or normal wear and tear—we know that many of our patients feel self-conscious. While you might feel alone in what you are going through, the American College of Prosthodontists estimates that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. When patients are missing a tooth, the first thought always heads towards aesthetics or how it will impact the way a person looks. Although that is important, we also want to touch on the physical implications of a missing tooth on your oral health and why it is extremely important to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible.
Although each tooth is an individual unit, all of your teeth need to work together to function properly. When one tooth is missing, it can seriously impact the way your teeth function, disrupting the way you chew and even speak. Over time, missing teeth can shift in the mouth, which can create gaps between teeth and lead to crowding issues. Shifting teeth can also rotate and become crooked.
When a tooth is missing, the state of your jawbone starts to change immediately. A missing tooth does not provide the stimulation the jawbone needs to stay intact, which leads to deterioration. As time goes by, this deterioration can cause facial muscles to weaken, and the face will start to appear older and sag.
When a tooth is missing, it can affect your bite or the way your teeth come together when you are chewing or when your mouth is at rest. When a back tooth is missing and isn’t replaced, it can change the way you bite, causing the surrounding teeth to wear faster. Over time, this can cause the enamel to erode and potential tooth damage.
If you are in need of a tooth replacement and would like more information about which treatment plan is best for you, please contact our office located in Montgomery, AL. We look forward to helping you with your dental needs soon.