Did you know that around 120 million American adults are missing at least one tooth? While having a gap in your teeth can make you feel embarrassed or comfortable, missing a tooth can also wreak havoc on your oral health. For these reasons, the best dentist in Palm Beach Gardens confirms that prompt tooth replacement is necessary. Moreover, they won’t hesitate to discuss the restorative options that best suit your needs.
Severe tooth decay, trauma, and gum disease usually result in tooth loss. Sometimes, a dentist may have to extract teeth to localize an infection, relieve painful symptoms, or prevent further damage to the neighboring teeth. A tooth that falls out or is removed leaves behind an empty tooth socket.
At this point, most patients wonder what they should do next. While some may decide to take no further action once the site heals, others choose to replace their missing tooth due to the following reasons:
Natural teeth embedded in the jawbone stimulate the bone through activities that include chewing and biting. When teeth are missing, the portion of the jawbone called the alveolar bone, which anchors the teeth in the mouth, will no longer receive the stimulation. Unfortunately, the lack of stimulation causes the body to break down and absorb the bone tissue.
Your dentist can help you avoid the harmful effects of bone resorption by replacing your missing teeth with dental implants, dental bridges, or dentures. However, dental implants are the only ones that can prevent bone loss out of all methods used for replacing missing teeth.
Bone resorption occurs around six months after losing a tooth. Over time, bone loss will cause significant changes to your facial structure. Dental health experts confirm that losing a back tooth can make your face look older by causing your mouth to shift.
Since all aspects of your face are intertwined, tooth loss causes your alveolar bone to deteriorate and your muscles to droop. Conversely, prompt tooth replacement helps ensure that your other teeth are kept in place, your mouth stays healthy, and your face won’t look older.
Unless the entire upper and lower arch of your mouth is full of teeth, you won’t be able to maintain an even bite. The gaps in between teeth resulting from missing teeth eventually cause your other teeth to shift out of their correct positions to fill in the gaps. This movement significantly impacts how the upper arch meets the lower arch. If you want to prevent your teeth from shifting to ensure your bite remains as it was before you lost a tooth, you’ll want to replace missing teeth immediately.
Your temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, on both sides of your head, help you chew food and rotate your jaw. Losing a tooth and failing to replace it can cause changes to these muscles that may trigger physical pain. Since prevention is the best treatment for TMJ disorders, you’ll want to consult with your dental care provider about options for teeth replacement.
If you have missing teeth that need replacing, it’s best to act quickly. The team of dental professionals at Smiles in the Garden is committed to providing you with personalized care and a healthy and beautiful smile. Contact us today to make an appointment.