Missing teeth can significantly impact a person’s oral health and overall well-being. Teeth play a vital role in chewing and speaking; their absence can cause difficulty in these essential functions. The effects of missing teeth are not just limited to oral health; they can also lead to bone loss, gum disease, and other health issues.
Why Do You Need All Your Teeth?
Teeth work together to provide proper jaw function, and gaps between teeth can cause neighboring teeth to drift into unoccupied spaces. This movement can lead to issues with bite alignment, irregular teeth wear, and jaw stress. Teeth that drift too close to other teeth can make it harder to clean out food debris caught between teeth, allowing bacteria to fester and eat away at strong enamel leading to gum disease and tooth loss.
Missing teeth can make it challenging to chew food correctly, leading to digestion problems and nutritional deficiencies. A person may avoid certain foods altogether, which can cause them to miss out on essential vitamins and minerals.
Shifting of Surrounding Teeth
The natural teeth surrounding a missing tooth shift their position to fill the space, resulting in severe misalignment. This movement can compromise smile aesthetics and make chewing more complex, creating bite irregularities.
The teeth stimulate jaw bone growth, and once a tooth (or teeth) goes missing, the bone is in danger of degrading and weakening. This deterioration can cause healthy teeth to become loose; sometimes, they may even become fully dislodged.
Gum Recession and Periodontal Disease
Once jawbone recession sets in, it is not uncommon for the gums to also begin receding. This can directly lead to periodontal disease, further diminishing oral health and even creating risks to overall health.
Increased Risks to General Health
If the periodontal disease develops due to missing teeth, it could ultimately raise risks to general health. Untreated gum disease has been linked to increased risks of several severe health conditions, including stroke, hypertension, heart disease, dementia, and cancer.
Changes in Facial Appearance
The proper distance between the nose and the chin depends on the teeth. If missing teeth in certain areas are not replaced, it could lead to “facial collapse,” an aesthetic effect that can dramatically alter one’s appearance and make them look much older than they are.
Treatment Options for Missing Teeth
Several options are available to replace missing teeth, including dental implants, bridges, and dentures. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of treatment depends on various factors, such as the patient’s age, overall health, and the number and location of missing teeth.
Dental implants are a popular option for replacing missing teeth, providing a custom-made tooth securely fixed into the bone, giving stability and long-term functionality similar to a natural tooth.
Dentures come in many configurations to help replace a tooth, and custom-made prosthetic teeth can fill all gaps. They can be removable or surgically set in place.
Dental bridges work great for patients who are missing teeth but not enough to warrant dentures. They provide structure and support to smiles damaged and weakened by several missing teeth.
Missing tooth treatment options in Arlington Heights IL
if you live in Arlington Heights, IL, and are missing a tooth, seeking treatment promptly is essential. Ignoring the problem can lead to severe consequences, including shifting of surrounding teeth, jawbone deterioration, and gum recession, which can affect your general health. Visit Omni Dental today to discuss treatment options and maintain good dental hygiene for a healthy smile and better quality of life.