Are you missing some teeth, either from illness or an accident? Are you curious about how this can impact your overall oral health?
The average adult between 20 to 64 years old has at least three missing or decayed teeth. You may think that missing a few teeth, especially in the back of your mouth where it’s not that visible, is not a big deal. But the truth is, ignoring missing teeth can actually cause more dental problems down the road.
Fortunately, the team at Pacific Coast Smiles, led by George Saliba, DDS, and located in Houston, Texas, has the knowledge and experience to provide the expert dental care you need.
Missing teeth can cause gum disease
Missing teeth can leave wounds in your gum tissue, making it the perfect location for growing different kinds of bacteria. Because your mouth is warm and wet, it’s, unfortunately, a great environment for bacteria to thrive. That means you can develop an infection if you lose a tooth.
You can also develop gum disease as the tissue recedes. This can result in more lost teeth later on. Gum disease is also linked to other health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. You not only risk your gum health by ignoring a missing tooth but also your overall health.
Your teeth can shift
A missing tooth leaves a gap between teeth. Over time, the adjacent teeth will start to shift to accommodate that gap, causing almost a domino effect of sorts. The nearby teeth will start leaning into the empty space, resulting in a crooked smile. It’s more than just a cosmetic problem, the shifting teeth can cause headaches and a painful jaw. It’s also more difficult to clean misaligned teeth, which can cause a build-up of plaque and more tooth loss.
You can lose bone mass
Your jawbone maintains mass and shape from stimulation. This stimulation comes from movement in your teeth as you use them for ordinary activities like talking or eating. When a tooth is missing, the jawbone is missing that stimulation, resulting in decreased mass. This can actually change the shape of your face over time, and make your mouth too unstable to support the teeth you have left.
Learn more about how to fix a missing tooth
If you’ve recently lost a tooth, it’s best to seek treatment as soon as possible. Don’t wait! Give Gems Dental a call at 281-607-1851, or request an appointment online to take the first step toward a straighter, more attractive smile.