Missing teeth can result from a number of various circumstances, from trauma to gum disease, to just being born without that tooth. Depending on the location of the gap, you may not feel like it’s worth the expense to bother with fixing it. But replacing your missing teeth with either a dental bridge or an implant is incredibly beneficial for your dental health, and can save you from many problems down the road. Here are a few reasons you should look into replacing that tooth.
Protecting the Rest of Your Teeth
When you lose teeth, it’s highly possible for the remaining teeth to shift, causing improper alignment and malocclusion – a bad bite – which can ultimately lead to jaw problems. A missing tooth means that gum and bone are no longer stimulated the way they need to be. The jaw bone actually begins to shrink as a result, which pulls the gum back. The receding gumline weakens the nearby teeth, leading to tooth decay and the risk of losing more teeth.
Restoring Your Smile and Self-Confidence
A shrunken jaw bone caused by missing teeth affects the appearance of your face. Without the structure of the jaw bone or tooth, your cheeks can become sunken, which makes your face look older and more wrinkly. The teeth and jaw are necessary for supporting your overall face shape; when that structure is altered, your lips and cheeks no longer have the inner support they need to maintain their position.
If the missing tooth is visible when you smile, you may feel self-conscious and even decide to alter your smile as a result. A confident smile leads to a more confident you. Every tooth is important.
Chewing and Speaking Properly
Losing a tooth can interfere with your ability to eat certain foods, such as overly crunchy or chewy things. Eating out becomes a different experience when you have to read a menu looking for things that you can eat, rather than things you want to eat. If you’re missing a molar, for instance, eating meat can become a problem because meat typically involves a lot of chewing.
Tooth gaps can also disturb your speech. You may make whistling sounds, develop a lisp, or spit when you talk, all of which can be embarrassing or frustrating.
For more information about the options available to you, contact South Temple Dental.