It is helpful to understand the different types of dental bridges to determine why your dentist may recommend a specific one. All dental bridges accomplish the same goal, which is to replace a missing tooth or a section of missing teeth. However, depending on the patient’s goals and the status of their oral health, a…
Long-Term Problems Caused by a Missing Tooth
Failing to replace a missing tooth can have long-term adverse effects on your dental and overall health. It can change the natural shape of your facial structures and affect your smile's appearance. It can also make you more vulnerable to periodontal disease, which happens to be the top cause of adult tooth loss, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Long-term effects of not replacing a missing tooth
A missing tooth affecting one's appearance is the least of the adverse effects of not replacing it. This article looks at a few of the worst consequences and how they can impact dental and overall health.
1. Permanent bone loss in the jawbone
One of the most severe consequences of not having a missing tooth replaced is the permanent bone loss that it leads to because the jaw is not getting the stimulation that it needs to remain healthy. Muscle tissues break down when they stop getting stimulated, and the same applies to bone tissues. Atrophy occurs, which leads to resorption. The bone tissue loss caused by missing teeth can negatively impact a person's ability to move their jaw, and some people develop jaw pain due to it.
The bone tissue breakdown also alters facial structures, leading to fine lines and wrinkles forming around the mouth. Dentists often recommend replacing missing teeth with dental implants because these are the only teeth replacement options that give the jawbone the stimulation that it needs to remain healthy. Dentures and bridges do not provide this benefit.
2. Poor teeth alignment
Teeth constantly apply pressure on each other due to their proximity. When one falls out, the remaining teeth often move closer to the gap left behind, in an attempt to close it up. This changes a person's bite as their teeth move out of their proper alignment.
Misaligned teeth are more vulnerable to decay, and they can cause other problems, like mouth pain, difficulty chewing, and headaches. Misaligned teeth can also lead to an improper bite, increasing the risk of the teeth getting damaged when chewing on food. Teeth-straightening treatments are usually needed to correct the bites of patients with poor alignment due to a missing tooth.
3. Increased dental costs
Missing teeth make people more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease, which are the two most common reasons that people seek dental care. This leads to higher dental bills in the future when the patient must get treatment for these issues.
Gum disease is responsible for most adult tooth loss, so people who fail to get a missing tooth replaced are likely to lose more teeth. Gum disease is also linked to serious health issues, like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease, according to Healthline.
Get your missing tooth replaced
Our dentist regularly replaces missing teeth with oral prosthetics like dentures, bridges, and implants. Give us a call or drop by our Jenkintown clinic to set up an appointment.
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