The Truth About What Happens if Missing Teeth Are Not Replaced
Do you have a missing tooth? If so, you may be wondering if you need to get it replaced. It may not bother you much to see a hole when you smile, but the benefit of replacing a tooth isn’t just about making it look better. The oral health benefits are much more important. To understand the advantages of tooth replacement, it’s crucial to know the consequences of not replacing teeth. For starters missing teeth will lead to more tooth loss and losing your back teeth will lead to losing your front teeth. So if you want to keep your smile, this article is for you.
Consequences of Not Replacing Missing Teeth
Not all of the consequences of not replacing missing teeth are obvious. Pay attention to the following to know the truth about missing teeth and what happens if you do not get them put back.
Jaw Bone Loss, Sinking of Lips and Cheeks, Wrinkling
The jaw bone maintains strength by the stimulation teeth receive through biting and chewing. When there is a missing tooth, the jaw bone in that area weakens because it doesn’t receive stimulation. The weakening of the bone is a process called ‘resorption’.
The loss of bone mass in one area can spread. As the entire jaw bone declines in strength, teeth can become affected. This can increase the risk of teeth breaking, gum disease, and cavities. Loss of bone structure changes your facial appearance. The face begins to look sunken-in because the lips and cheeks have less support from teeth and jaw bone volume. Think about what the face of a homeless, toothless person looks like. The quickest way to look years older and wrinkly, is to lose jaw bone and facial bone.
Without the support of a neighboring tooth, teeth will start to shift. This can cause misalignment of the bite and gaps in between other teeth. Teeth may also start to loosen because of their shifting into new locations. When spaces open up in between teeth, food and bacteria get trapped and it causes gum disease and tooth decay. As teeth move into new positions, they meet one another differently top to bottom. This can cause bite problems, teeth clenching and grinding at night-time.
Teeth have a great influence in the way your face look. If you’ve ever seen people with an overbite and looked at their profile, you can see the overbite even when they don’t open their mouth. This is just an example of how the teeth influences what the face looks like. Missing teeth and other shifting can change the way the face looks, and the changes may not be in a way people prefer.
As people age, the facial changes are much more dramatic. Missing teeth can cause skin to sag around the mouth causing deep wrinkles. This can lead to people looking much older than they would look if they had all of their teeth.
Many people with missing teeth report suffering from an increase in headaches and TMD. This is due to the demand placed on the existing teeth. It’s just like when you have a group of people working on a project. When there are missing people, the rest of the people in the group have to do more to get the project done. When there are missing teeth, the other teeth have to work harder to chew food until it’s ready to swallow.
People who have missing teeth may slur their words because their tongue isn’t working as it did when the teeth were there. Over time, the slurring may not be so obvious, but it can be quite embarrassing for people who have to speak professionally. Missing teeth can also lead to lots of extra salivary flow, slobbering and spitting.
Back, upper teeth that are missing can change the size and shape of the sinuses. This change in the sinus structure can also lead to jaw bone erosion, a cratering effect in the sinuses, poor sinus shape, and sinus problems. Basically, the shape in the sinus does not lead to good drainage…like a grass area with a sunken in depressed area. Water will stand and sit in these areas. Bacteria will fester in sinus “holes” and cause bacterial congestion and sinusitis.
So, in addition to having a “holey” smile, people who are missing teeth can suffer from jaw bone loss, misaligned teeth, facial changes, headaches, speech problems and sinus changes. All of these consequences of not replacing teeth are too serious to ignore. With this knowledge, it’s now important to know the best way to replace teeth. Research has show the the loss of just one back tooth can lead to the collapse of the entire bite and the loss of several more teeth. The best time to replace a tooth is immediately after it is lost with a dental implant.
The Best Way to Replace Teeth
Dentures or partial dentures is one way to replace teeth, but not the best way. Dentures speeds up bone loss due to the pressure they place on the jaw bone. It wears the bone out, which then shrinks it much quicker than other ways to replace teeth. The rate of bone loss accelerates for those who wear dentures all the time, including overnight.
A bridge is another way that some people replace missing teeth. It’s also not the best way to replace missing teeth, though. A bridge does not provide the stimulation the jaw bone needs to maintain strength. As the jaw bone weakens, a gap can develop underneath the bridge, which can become visible when the person smiles.
If dentures or partial dentures and a bridge aren’t the best way to replace missing teeth, what is?
Dental Implants for Replacing Missing Teeth
Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. They stop bone loss in its tracks. Dental implants are supported by the jaw bone. When people chew and bite food, the implants stimulate the jaw bone just like natural teeth do, which means the jaw bone remains strong.
Dental implants use the jaw bone as foundation and are able to support themselves in between neighboring teeth. This means that other teeth are not affected by the implant. For people who have many missing teeth, dental implants are a good way to create a full arch of replacement teeth.
The benefits of dental implants, especially metal-free implants such as titanium dental implants, are incredible. Titanium dental implants do not corrode, have no risk of causing allergic reactions, and are durable enough to last a lifetime. This means they are less likely to crack and break, which means not having to spend money on replacement implants. People often choose titanium dental implants because the long-term benefits are worth the investment.
Maintain Oral Beauty and Health with Dental Implants
Don’t risk your oral beauty and health by not replacing your missing teeth. Not only do missing teeth cause your smile to look less attractive, but they also compromise the integrity of your jaw bone and health of surrounding teeth. While dentures and bridges can improve the look of your smile, they do not preserve your oral health. Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth, and metal-free implants are the preferred type. Metal-free titanium dental implants do not pose a risk for corrosion, allergic reactions, and breakage.
Contact us now for more information about tooth replacement with titanium dental implants. We would be happy to explore this option with you to replace your missing teeth to improve your oral beauty and health.