Why Not Replacing Missing Teeth is Bad for Your Health

Are you one of the 120 million Americans missing a tooth and not seeking to replace it? While losing teeth is completely normal when you’re a child, as an adult there aren’t any replacement teeth ready to drop down into the socket and take their place.

You might think this isn’t a big issue, especially if it’s a back tooth and out of sight when you smile. However, failure to replace missing teeth can trigger some further complications for your remaining teeth and put your overall health at risk.

Missing teeth are a major cause of bone loss

Your teeth help to support and stimulate the bone of your jaw. When a tooth is gone, its natural roots are no longer embedded in your jawbone and bone loss can occur. In addition, the void caused by the missing tooth can change the shape of your mouth, which puts the neighboring teeth and gums at risk of tooth decay.

The vacant space between your teeth can also cause the neighboring teeth to shift out of their natural position to fill the gap. Although this process of shifting can occur naturally or because of gum recession or tooth decay, missing teeth will accelerate the process. When your teeth move out of their normal positions, your bite is affected and may become misaligned. That will make it difficult for you to eat and drink properly, and it may also trigger headaches, muscle pain, TMJ, and accelerated wear-and-tear of your remaining teeth.

It’s hard to eat properly when you have teeth missing

Each tooth has a particular function when it comes to eating, whether it’s tearing chunks off food or gnashing it down so it’s ready to swallow. When certain teeth are missing, you may not be able to eat food in the same way; for example, if you lose any back molars you might be unable to grind up the meat and other tough food.

When this happens, you’ll probably change to eating on just one side of your mouth where the teeth are unaffected. Unfortunately, though, this shift can cause the teeth on that side to wear down quickly and be more susceptible to cavities and decay.

A broken smile can damage your self-esteem

If you’re hiding from the camera whenever a photo opportunity comes along because you don’t want to share a gap-filled smile, it’s likely that your missing teeth are affecting your self-esteem. When your smile has a space that’s visible whenever you smile, laugh, or talk, you’re less likely to do those activities without being self-conscious and embarrassed. Not only does this make socializing hard to do, but it can affect your mental health too.

What you need to know is that there are treatment options available to restore your full, confident smile. Dental implants are a fantastic solution, as they are placed directly into the bone of your jaw, giving it additional support and stimulation to prevent further bone loss and changes to your facial shape.

Implants are a permanent solution for your missing teeth and look as natural as the real thing. Made up of a titanium post that screws into your jaw, and a crown and an abutment that connects the two together, an implant can restore more than just your smile helping you to eat properly again, prevent your other teeth from shifting position and reducing muscle pain and headaches too.

To explore replacement options for your missing teeth and to discover if dental implants are the right choice for you, book your consultation with us here at Gems Dental in Houston, Texas today.

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