When a patient loses one or more teeth we always urge them to contact a dentist and talk about possible solutions as soon as possible. We offer an array of replacement options, from dental bridges to lifelike and long lasting dental implants. Why is replacing a lost tooth so important? What dangers can tooth loss pose?
Question: What causes teeth to go missing?
Answer: Tooth loss can be related to injury or an untreated infection that requires the tooth’s removal. However, the most common cause is gum disease. Periodontitis, or the advanced stage of gum disease, can cause the connective tissue between your teeth and gums to actually dissolve, leading to lost teeth. Studies show gum disease impacts half of adults over the age of 30.
Question: Can missing teeth lead to problems with gum health?
Answer: Even if gum disease didn’t cause your tooth loss, missing teeth can lead to misalignment as teeth drift form their positions. An uneven smile makes thorough brushing and flossing difficult. Soon, food becomes trapped where the teeth overlap or crowd, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Question: Will missing teeth impact alignment?
Answer: Yes. As we mentioned above, the teeth tend to drift when gaps appear in the smile. Over time, the rate of drifting can worsen until teeth are uneven. In addition to tooth decay and gum disease, the pressure on the jaw joints from poor alignment can lead to the onset of TMJ disorder and bruxism.
Question: Can losing teeth impact my ability to eat or speak?
Answer: Yes. Advanced tooth loss can make speaking clearly difficult, making it hard for people to understand you when you talk. In addition, missing teeth can also limit your diet, forcing you to subsist on mainly soft foods and depriving you of essential nutrients.