When some of your teeth are missing due to injury, illness, or poor oral hygiene, changes begin to take place right away. There are some real risks involved with missing teeth that are not just cosmetic, including the risk of bone loss, tooth decay, and dental disease. Replacing missing teeth provides many long-term benefits.
1. Prevent other teeth from shifting
When you have a missing tooth, there is a gap in its place. Naturally, the adjacent teeth will shift towards each other to fill that gap. This shift can lead to misalignment, crooked teeth, impaired chewing, and jawbone strain and the development of TMJ joint problems. Orthodontic treatments would be needed to correct the bite issues. In addition, crooked teeth can create areas where a toothbrush and floss cannot reach, putting your teeth at risk of cavities, gum disease, and infection. Thus, replacing missing teeth can help keep your smile straight and healthy.
2. Restore chewing function
Your teeth serve an important function of breaking down food you eat for nutrition. Missing teeth can inhibit normal chewing. For example, molars and any of the back teeth are responsible for grinding teeth into smaller, easy to swallow, and digestible pieces. Missing the back teeth puts more pressure on the front teeth, causing them to work harder and perform the function they are not built for. This may lead to faster deterioration and premature erosion of the front teeth. Thus, replacing the missing teeth can help maintain your oral health and proper tooth function.
3. Restore your speech
Missing teeth inhibit normal speaking, especially if you are missing any of the front teeth. It sometimes takes only one tooth to impact your ability to pronounce words correctly or clearly. Common words that may be difficult to pronounce include shoe, gym, zoo, fish, sew, and chin. Replacing missing teeth will solve the problem and improve speech, although with dentures it may take more time.
4. Maintain your facial structure
The jawbone needs constant stimulation of teeth to stay strong and stable. When you lose a tooth, that part of the bone no longer gets the stimulation it needs, and it will start shrinking in response. Your gums will also begin to recede in the missing space, weakening adjacent teeth. The result is changes to your facial structure, sagging cheeks, and early-onset aging. Keeping the jawbone strong can prevent changes to the facial structure, as well as tooth decay and gum disease.
5. Regain your confidence
The condition of people's teeth is one of the first things other people notice, as having nice a full set of teeth is considered a sign of attractiveness and good health. So it's no wonder patients, who have missing teeth, tend to be conscious about the way they look. Replacing missing teeth can help you look younger, enhance your smile, speech, facial structure, and make you feel more confident in your interactions.
If you are looking for a long-term solution to replace your missing teeth, book an appointment with us! (925) 705-7093.