Losing a tooth, or more, has the capability to impact your daily life in more ways than one. It might make you avoid eating certain foods, or it might alter your confidence and make you avoid smiling as much as you usually do. That being said, there are multiple reasons why it’s so important to replace missing teeth.
First things first, what causes tooth loss?
While tooth loss can technically happen to anyone at any time, there are a few common reasons that account for the majority of cases.
Gum disease accounts for 70% of missing teeth, making it the number one cause of tooth loss among adults. It’s caused by bacteria and inflammation in the tissues and ligaments of your gums, which are mainly responsible for anchoring your teeth in place and protecting their roots. As it progresses over time, the structure is weakened, which causes tooth roots to loosen and makes you more vulnerable to tooth loss.
Cavities/ Tooth Decay
Cavities are tiny holes in your teeth caused by bacterial infection and ultimately result in tooth decay. They can get larger over time and destroy deeper layers of the tooth if left untreated, meaning it might cause a root canal or removal of the tooth altogether.
Accidents can happen at any time, whether it’s an unexpected fall, car accident, sports injury, etc. It’s hard to plan avoiding an accident like this, but there are always preventative measures you can take! Some of these include using a mouth guard while playing sports and avoiding using your teeth to remove lids or tags from your clothes. You should also avoid chewing on popcorn kernels and ice.
Why is it so important to replace missing teeth?
All in all, the main reason to replace a lost tooth is simple: to stop future problems from occurring later on. That being said, there are few more reasons why you should consider replacing a lost tooth as soon as possible.
Every Tooth Has a Role
Even though the majority of us have between 28-32 teeth, that doesn’t mean one is more important than the other. Each tooth has a vital function. For example, your mouth feels a certain pressure when biting and chewing on food, and this pressure is greatly impacted when one or more teeth are missing. When trying to break down food, your remaining teeth and jaw are forced to compensate and work harder to fill the gaps in your mouth, which can cause you overall soreness or irritation.
It’ll Change How You Eat
Losing a tooth limits your overall ability to chew foods normally. Because of this, you might experience difficulty or discomfort when eating certain foods or give up some of these foods altogether.
Other Areas of Your Face Might be Affected
Losing teeth might cause your other teeth to shift, making your upper and lower jaw unequal and unable to fit well together. Because of this, you might experience muscle tension in your jaw, which can cause migraines and headaches.
You Might Find Yourself Missing More Teeth
Missing teeth leaves a gap in your gums, which allows plaque to build up much more easily. A lot of plaque buildup in a certain area can eventually lead to gum disease or tooth decay. One missing tooth can lead to many because you’re not able to adequately clean your mouth like you could before.
How Do You Replace Missing Teeth?
There are a few different options, such as dental implants, bridges or dentures, and you’ll want to make sure to consult with your dentist about which option is best for you.
Dental Implant Placement & Restoration
Dental implants can help preserve adjacent teeth, prevent bone loss and promote healthy gums. This permanent solution looks and feels completely natural and will allow you to chew properly again, meaning you can finally go back to enjoying the foods you love or might have had to cut out.
Want to feel confident when smiling again, improve your speech and reduce risk of gum disease? A dental bridge can do just that! Bridges are false teeth that are custom-shaped to fit in the gap between your teeth. They can help the overall appearance of your smile, as well as other dental challenges.
Dentures are dental implants that are constructed to replace missing teeth. They are secure anchors placed in the gap of your teeth and are mainly supported by the surrounding teeth and gums in the area.
As we mentioned, losing teeth has the ability to affect your confidence and make you feel self-conscious. It might make you smile less and often feel like you’re not yourself. One of the best ways to fix this is by visiting a cosmetic dentist like Smiles by Stevens in Lancaster, PA, where we create confidence one smile at a time!
Contact us today to make all of your general and cosmetic dentistry needs come true!