Having missing teeth can impact your self-esteem, but the effects of those spaces between teeth go beyond physical appearance. There are various reasons a person experiences tooth loss. It can be due to injuries, poor oral hygiene habits, or genetic issues.
Regardless of the cause of the gap in your smile, replacing missing teeth is worth all the effort. Here’s why it’s important to replace missing teeth.
Keeping Teeth in Their Ideal Position
If left untreated, missing teeth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift from their position and occupy the gap. This movement can result in misalignment. As your bite changes, your mouth and jaw also work harder to perform basic functions such as speaking and eating.
Each tooth plays an important role. They keep each other in their ideal places and help you move and use your mouth comfortably. Losing several teeth can trigger all the remaining teeth to move, which can throw the bite off balance.
A poor bite can result in jaw pain and discomfort, and the effects can travel to other nearby structures, such as your neck and back.
Preserving the Bone
The tooth stimulates the jawbone. The chewing and biting motions exert a force on the jawbone. If this stimulus is lost, the body absorbs the bone tissue, leading to sunken cheeks and a changed facial structure.
This is also why dentists often discuss tooth replacement options following an extraction procedure. Bone resorption can occur within six months after getting a tooth removed.
There are different methods for replacing teeth. You and your dentist can work together to identify the most suitable option for your case. Among the factors you will most likely discuss are your oral health history, budget, lifestyle, and overall medical condition.
Maintaining Speaking and Chewing Abilities
When you lose a tooth or several teeth, pronouncing certain sounds can also become more difficult. You may notice that the gaps between teeth affect how your tongue functions, which can affect your speech. As an adult, this can be annoying and embarrassing, especially if your profession requires social interactions.
As for eating, food particles can easily get stuck in the empty spaces between teeth. This can lead to plaque and tartar buildup. Sometimes, the deposits can be hard to remove, giving more time for bad bacteria to multiply and spread. Starch and sugar debris attract harmful bacteria and produce acids that break down the surface of teeth.
Additionally, chewing food can be harder when teeth are far apart from each other. You’ll need to cut your food into smaller pieces first so it’s easier to chew and swallow them. You might end up avoiding foods that require heavy chewing, such as meat and vegetables. This can keep you from receiving the nutrients you need from a balanced, varied diet.
Learn More About the Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
Listed above are only three potential effects of leaving missing teeth untreated. There are more possible consequences if the gaps in your smile aren’t filled.
You don’t have to go through life with missing teeth, always hesitant to smile, laugh, eat, or speak in public. We can help you take your first steps toward restored confidence and improved oral health.
To discuss available tooth replacement options with the dentist in Little Italy, ON, contact us at Little Italy Dentistry. Our staff can assist you in setting up your initial dental consultation.