If that tooth that is missing in the front of your mouth makes you feel embarrassed or self-conscious, your dentist explains that a missing tooth or teeth does more than affect the way you smile.
According to Web MD, a missing tooth can cause serious problems for your overall health.
Think of your teeth as a team that works together, much like a baseball or football team. If you lose one, the rest of your teeth may well be jeopardized as well.
Most people are aware of the cosmetic issues, but there are others that could be harmful. These include periodontal problems, malocclusion, speech defects, hypereruption, and even TMJ issues.
When you lose a tooth, there rest of your teeth will try to make up for the space by drifting into the space that has been vacated by your missing tooth. Known as malocclusion, your teeth will begin to rotate and tip putting a serious strain on your jaw joints causing pain and locking.
If you have lost a tooth, especially a back molar, you tend to chew on the opposite side because you have more surface to bite down on. This causes more force that could lead to lost fillings or broken tooth.
Known as hypereruption, a tooth that is normally touching the missing tooth when you bite can begin to grow into the spot left by your missing tooth. Some dentists have seen severe cases of hypereruption that has caused the roots of the teeth to show. If this happens, gum problems, sensitive teeth, and root decay could become a real issue.
Enjoying your favorite foods such as nuts, carrots, apples and other crunchy foods may be painful if you have a lost a tooth. Not eating these types of healthy foods can eventually lead to poor nutrition, which could have an effect on the rest of your body.
If you have lost one or more of your teeth, you may not be able to speak like you used to. If you do not see your dentist for a solution to your problem, missing teeth could give you a lisp or even change your voice completely.
Because missing teeth will leave gaps, you will be more prone to gum disease as bacteria, food particles and plaque thrive in empty spaces. Make sure that you see your dentist right away as untreated gum disease can cause other issues as well including problems with your heart and your brain.
Missing teeth can be taken care of by your dentist. Schedule an appointment with your dentist who can recommend dental procedures that include partial or full dentures, fixed bridges, or the best and most permanent solution, dental implants.
Call your dentist today who will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants.