Replace Lost Teeth

Why it is Important to Replace Lost Teeth

When a tooth or multiple teeth are missing, it is more than just a cosmetic issue. Even one missing tooth can have implications for the shape and function of the mouth and the health of our jawbone. In this article, we’ll explore the potential complications of missing teeth and what can be done to correct this problem.

What is the purpose of teeth?

Teeth are an essential part of the digestive system. The outer coating of teeth, called enamel, is the hardest substance in a human’s body. That tough enamel is what makes teeth strong enough to help us bite, tear, and chew food into a size that is easier to swallow. The action of chewing helps crush and break the food down, which then helps aid digestion. Without teeth, humans are limited to eating very soft foods that don’t need to be chewed before they are swallowed. This type of dietary limitation can severely impact someone’s quality of life.

Will a person’s face look different with missing teeth?

In short, yes. There are obvious undesirable changes to how someone looks when a tooth is missing from their smile. This can cause diminished self-confidence. But while it may not be as immediately visible as a gap in our smile, having missing teeth also takes away a significant source support for the muscles in the face, lips, and cheeks. This is because teeth serve as part of the framework for the shape, height, and structure of the face. When teeth are missing, cheeks can begin to look sunken in or the face can appear lopsided. The lower jaw can appear to recede. And skin on either side of the mouth can start to sag from a lack of support- causing the appearance of a permanent frown.

Are there serious consequences when teeth are missing?

Yes, there are potentially serious dental health consequences for having missing teeth. The roots of the teeth extend far below the tooth and serve to hold them securely in the jawbone. Having stable teeth securely rooted in a healthy jawbone is important for the ability to properly chew and digest food. When we can’t properly chew food, our digestive system and overall nutrition could be compromised. One of the most important jobs of teeth is to support healthy bones in the jaw. When one or more teeth are missing from the jawbone, the bone around that empty space begins to deteriorate. Over time, decreased bone density of the jawbone will cause remaining teeth to become loose, making them more vulnerable to decay and eventual tooth loss. Missing teeth destabilize the bite and can even cause headaches or dysfunction with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). In addition to the role in protecting the bone density of the jawbone, teeth serve to hold neighboring teeth firmly in place. When one or more teeth are missing, the surrounding teeth will eventually become loose from that lack of support. When this happens, the bite can become misaligned and additional teeth are at high risk of falling out. A misaligned bite brings with it many unwanted consequences like difficulty chewing and speaking, uneven wear on tooth surfaces, and compromised oral health.

What can be done about missing teeth?

The good news is there are effective treatments to help with both the cosmetic and dental health implications of missing teeth. Dentists do have options for restoring the look and function of the teeth. In some cases, changes to the appearance of the facial structure can be reversed with the use of implants (realistic looking false teeth surgically implanted in the jawbone). Bridges can be placed to help stabilize neighboring teeth, and dentures can be used to replace the natural teeth. And bone loss can be slowed or stopped when new bone starts to grow around an implanted tooth in the jawbone. This new bone growth will help regain the stability once provided by the natural teeth. In summary, it is very important to replace missing teeth. If missing teeth are not replaced, there are visible cosmetic and significant dental health consequences. The best strategy for avoiding the dangers of tooth loss is prevention. Having regular dental checkups with your dentist and practicing good dental hygiene are good ways to maintain your oral health. But when tooth loss happens, the key is to seek treatment right away- before any bone or additional tooth loss happens. Experts at Today’s Dental can help evaluate your tooth loss and provide options to restore your dental health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Replacing lost teeth is crucial not just for cosmetic reasons but also for the overall function of the mouth and the health of the jawbone. Missing teeth can lead to potential complications such as changes in the shape of the face, diminished self-confidence, and serious dental health consequences.

Missing teeth can cause undesirable changes in a person’s appearance. Apart from the obvious gap in the smile, it can also cause the cheeks to look sunken, the lower jaw to recede, and the skin on either side of the mouth to sag, causing the appearance of a permanent frown.

Missing teeth can lead to decreased bone density of the jawbone, causing remaining teeth to become loose and more vulnerable to decay and eventual tooth loss. It can also destabilize the bite, cause headaches, and lead to dysfunction with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

When one or more teeth are missing, the surrounding teeth can become loose due to lack of support. This can lead to a misaligned bite, difficulty in chewing and speaking, uneven wear on tooth surfaces, and compromised oral health.

There are several effective treatments for missing teeth, including implants, bridges, and dentures. These can help restore the look and function of the teeth, stabilize neighboring teeth, and slow or stop bone loss. It’s important to seek treatment right away to prevent further complications.

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