A regular visit to the family dentist is something all patients should schedule. You already know it is important to brush your teeth daily and generally have good oral health habits. However, an in-office dental cleaning can offer you a lot more than at-home practices. Keep reading to find out the benefits of an in-office…
Improve Your Smile by Replacing Your Missing Teeth
Having missing teeth can be much more than just a minor inconvenience. It can substantially impact both mental and physical health. Each tooth plays an important part in allowing the mouth to function properly and look its best. Here are some reasons why replacing missing teeth can be a wise decision.
Avoiding complications of missing teeth
As with many dental conditions, lost teeth can lead to complications and further health issues if not properly addressed.
Damage to the gums and jawbone
When even one tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth lose the support of that tooth and its root. This can cause other teeth to shift positions. The more dramatically the remaining teeth move, the more damage can be inflicted on the jawbone. The jawbone can also start to shrink in the space where the tooth is missing due to lack of stimulation. As the jawbone shrinks, the gum recedes along with it, pulling the gum away from the neighboring teeth as well. This leads to root exposure, which can cause pain while engaging in many common activities:
- Eating foods with a high sugar or acid content
- Eating hot or cold foods
Teeth that are not properly supported by the gum can then weaken and eventually collapse. If more than one tooth is missing, these effects may be noticed even faster. Replacing missing teeth can prevent further oral damage and even more dental complications in the future.
Oral muscles and facial joints can be affected by a shifting jawbone. When pressure builds up on these muscles and joints, headaches and even migraines can result. A jawbone that is not centered can cause pain in other parts of the face and neck area as well.
Preventing embarrassing changes
Missing teeth can cause physical alterations that can be difficult to adjust to and potentially lead to self-esteem issues.
It can be tempting to think one missing tooth will not affect outward physical appearance, especially if the missing tooth is towards the back of the mouth. However, if the missing tooth causes the jawbone to shrink, the facial structure can be significantly altered. Visible symptoms like saggy, hollow cheeks, unstable lips and pronounced wrinkles can present. These symptoms can make you look older than you really are. The lips and cheeks must be supported internally by the teeth and a healthy jawbone in order to maintain a healthy appearance.
The tongue moves over the teeth in a specific pattern to create sounds and speech. Missing teeth can affect the tongue's ability to form sounds properly, causing speech impediments like slurring and lisps.
When a tooth is pulled or gets knocked out, it is recommended to have it replaced as quickly as possible. Doing so will help avoid further damage to the gums and jawbone that can cause headaches among other issues. It can also prevent changes in appearance and speech that can be embarrassing. At the very least, it will allow for proper and comfortable chewing.
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