Losing a tooth may be an exciting experience as a child, but it’s not something we celebrate later in life. Losing a permanent tooth can be an overwhelming experience, especially with so many tooth replacement options. You may be tempted to put off making your decision and learning to live with a gap in your smile. However, if you don’t act right away, you’ll be at risk of developing long-term, permanent complications to both your oral and overall health. Here are five ways that a missing tooth changes more than just your smile.
Teeth May Shift Out of Place
When a tooth goes missing, the teeth on either side of the gap tend to shift towards the open space. This will cause the teeth next to those ones also to shift, eventually resulting in a domino effect of crooked teeth. Shifting teeth could change how your jaws come together and alter your bite.
Facial Structure May Change
Your teeth stimulate blood flow in the jawbone. As soon as a tooth goes missing, the jaw begins to deteriorate. The longer you wait to replace it, the more bone loss in your jaw will occur. Eventually, this will cause facial features like your cheeks and lips to look sunken and aged.
Everyday Activities Could Become Challenging
Your teeth are designed to help you eat and speak properly. When you lose one, you may suddenly find it more difficult to chew comfortably or speak clearly. Not only is this frustrating, but it could lead to malnutrition, acid reflux, or other digestive issues.
Your Mental Health Could Suffer
Experiencing all these effects of missing teeth can be quite alarming. Additionally, you may find yourself constantly worrying about the appearance of your smile. This increased level of anxiety could raise your blood pressure, deflate your confidence, and put a strain on your relationships.
Risk of Larger Health Complications Increases
A gap in your smile easily collects bacteria, plaque, and food particles, which encourages tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections. In your everyday life, you may notice you have chronic bad breath or sensitive teeth. However, researchers believe that poor oral health is connected to health issues like diabetes, memory loss, and heart disease.
Dental Implants: A Permanent, Lifelike Solution
Dental implants in Baytown are the next best thing to natural teeth. They’re the only tooth restoration option that replaces your missing tooth both above and below the gumline. Dental implants are fused into your jawbone to support your oral health, provide natural stability, and feel as comfortable as possible. They’re nearly indistinguishable from natural teeth and can last a lifetime with good oral hygiene. However, the longer you wait to replace your missing teeth, the more difficult it may become to install a dental implant. See your Baytown dentist to find out if this tooth replacement option is right for you!
About the Author
Dr. Dean Hutto of Aesthetic Family Dentistry in Baytown, TX has been rebuilding beautiful, confident smiles for over 25 years. He understands just how important replacing missing teeth is for both your oral and overall health, which is why he is proud to offer dental implants. If you’re interested in filling in the gaps of your smile with aesthetic, reliable, and long-lasting dental implants, he would be happy to help you explore this option. For more information, he can be reached via his website or at (281) 422-8248.