As a child, losing a tooth was something you looked forward to. It meant you were going to get a little gift from the Tooth Fairy. It also meant your adult teeth were on their way to fill in the missing spot.
But as an adult, losing a tooth doesn’t come with any gifts. Losing an adult tooth may lead to other, more severe problems and shouldn’t be ignored. At Silver Lake Dentistry in Raymore, Missouri, Dr. Joshua Whitford and Dr. Jessica Whitford recommend replacing missing teeth with state-of-the-art dental implants. Here’s why you should never ignore a missing tooth.
Affects the alignment of your other teeth
If you’re missing a tooth, the large open space it leaves behind allows more room for shifting. In addition to the gap in your grin, your missing tooth may also lead to tooth misalignment and a more crooked smile.
Misaligned teeth make it harder for you to maintain good oral hygiene, which increases your risk of developing cavities and, even worse, gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Increases jawbone loss
Every time you take a bite, your teeth stimulate your jawbone. Like your muscles, if your jawbone doesn’t get a regular workout, it starts to lose some of its mass. This is referred to as bone loss. In the first year after losing a tooth, you can lose up to 25% of your jawbone height. Loss of bone can affect your facial features by decreasing support in your cheeks and lips, which may make you appear older. It can also affect the support and stability of your other teeth.
Alters your bite
Losing a tooth changes the whole dynamic of your bite, which may place too much stress on your other teeth, as well as on your gums, jaw joints, and facial muscles. The extra pressure may increase your risk of breaking or losing more teeth. It can also lead to chronic neck or head pain or cause you to develop temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ).
Don’t ignore your missing tooth
Missing a tooth can lead to many health issues, but there’s no reason just to let it go when you have a replacement option as good as your natural tooth. At Silver Lake Dentistry, we are experts in replacing missing teeth with dental implants.
The implant acts as a replacement root for your tooth, so it stimulates your jawbone and keeps all your other teeth in place. Plus, it fuses with your jawbone, which means it’s as secure and strong as your natural tooth.
If you’re feeling uncertain about dental implants, we also offer a dental bridge, a dental prosthetic that fills in the gap created by your missing tooth.
To replace missing teeth and all of your oral health needs, schedule an appointment at Silver Lake Dentistry. Call us at 816-368-5968 or request your appointment online.