Having a missing tooth can feel like a strictly cosmetic issue, so the question arises, should you even bother replacing it? Unfortunately, having a missing tooth is not only embarrassing, but is harmful to your overall dental health.
Our team gathered to discuss the three main health concerns to keep in mind while deciding if you should replace a missing tooth.
What Causes Tooth Loss
Poor Oral Health
Brushing your teeth twice a day can help you maintain healthy teeth but brushing only once a day gives bacteria the chance to set up shop on your teeth. This bacterium can eventually lead to decay, cavities, and, ultimately, tooth loss.
Tobacco is known to increase your risk for cancer and tooth loss. Did you know that smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers?
Teeth need a number of essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin C to stay at optimal strength. A diet lacking in those vitamins means your body doesn’t have the necessary building blocks to keep your teeth strong, leading to increased risk for decay, breakage, and tooth loss.
How does Tooth Loss Affect Your Health
Teeth Shift or Misalignment
If you lose a tooth, the space can allow your other teeth to shift from their current position to fill the gap. This happens because when your teeth are positioned in a neat row, they assist each other in remaining stable and lined up evenly. The loss of a tooth can cause misalignment, possible gum disease and tooth decay, and crookedness.
As mentioned above, when you lose a tooth your other teeth may shift. When your teeth shift, the movement gradually grinds away the bone in that area. This will cause your muscles to droop over time, changing the way your face may appear. The stimulation from chewing forces preserves the density and structure of the bone, so once the stimulation is gone, the bone mass will shrink and weaken.
Temporomandibular joints, commonly referred to as TMJ, are located on either side of the mouth and help you chew and rotate your jaw. Changes to the muscles and the structure can cause pain. TMJ will occur with structural damage to those muscles, including the loss of a tooth.
Replace Your tooth With Park Avenue Dental
Having a missing tooth does not need to hurt your opportunity for a beautiful smile. Take the first step in having a healthy smile by contacting Park Avenue Dental so our knowledgeable and caring dentists and team can begin a customized treatment plan that works best for you. We are dedicated to helping you be confident and have the most beautiful smile possible. Reach out to us today to request an appointment.