Once your baby teeth fall out and your permanent teeth grow in, it’s important to be diligent in caring for your teeth. If you do lose a tooth due to decay or trauma, you may think that it’s acceptable to leave the void—especially if the gap is located in the back of the mouth where no one sees it anyway. The truth is, though, that every tooth plays a critical role in your overall oral health.
Teeth are part of a dynamic system that allows you to speak, smile, and eat properly. When you have a missing tooth, the remaining teeth will make incremental movements to adjust to the changes in the mouth.
There are many reasons to replace a missing tooth. These include:
An uneven bite
The loss of one or several teeth will result in a change in your bite pressure. The remaining teeth will shift over time to fill the void left by the missing tooth, resulting in an uneven bite.
Tooth decay and gum disease
The accumulation of plaque will increase with the shifting of the teeth. As teeth become angled and crowded, it will be hard to remove plaque accumulation. The plaque build-up will result in gum disease that can lead to ongoing tooth loss.
A missing tooth will cause the jawbone to wear down and deteriorate. The result is bone loss. When you decide to replace the missing tooth later with a dental implant, you will require a bone graft to replace the lost bone.
A missing tooth can influence the way you speak, especially if the tooth was located in the front of your mouth. A missing front tooth can cause the air to escape as you speak, making it difficult for you to pronounce words.
A compromised smile
A missing tooth in the front of the mouth will leave a visible gap when you speak or smile. This may cause you to become less confident in your smile and speech.
Whether your missing tooth is visible or not, it’s critical to seek a replacement with dentures, bridges, or dental implants. Dental implants are the most popular option for tooth replacement. They are easy to maintain and will not bother the adjacent teeth, as in the case of a bridge that needs anchors. If you have a missing tooth and live in Farmington, talk to a Layton Implants prosthodontist about dental implants.