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Everyone knows that missing teeth can impact your smile, make you uncomfortable in photos, and sometimes even affect the way you speak or eat. However, if you’ve been missing teeth for a long time, there are risks you should be aware of aside from cosmetic problems.

If we lose one or two teeth we tend to think that it is fine if we replace them at a later point in time as they are not so visible and our other teeth will function instead. Only a few may know that it is not true at all. Even one tooth loss can lead to severe consequences as regards our other teeth. Find out more about the most common risks of having missing teeth.

The Unseen Effects of Tooth Loss 

EATING PROBLEMS

Every tooth performs a specific task in the eating process. For example, the incisors are for biting, while the molars and pre-molars have been designed to grind food. Missing even one tooth will affect the normal chewing process. Missing teeth can lead to only being able to consume foods that are easy-to-chew. The change in diet and inability to eat certain foods can lead to digestive problems and other health issues. 

CROOKED TEETH

Perfectly arranged teeth can become crooked due to a missing tooth. Since every tooth occupies its own space, a missing tooth leaves space that forces the remaining teeth to try and fill the void. The surrounding teeth will begin to shift to and bend towards the gap. crooked teeth can also create areas that a toothbrush or floss cannot reach. Food particles will become plaque and spread in these areas, developing into an infection. 

GUM DISEASE

Advanced gum disease, or as it’s referred to formally, periodontitis, is another huge problem that you can face if you don’t replace teeth that have been missing for a long time. Even if gum disease didn’t contribute to your tooth loss in the first place, the open socket where your tooth once rested opens the door for all kinds of bacteria to enter your gums. Periodontitis is a very nasty infection which can cause more tooth loss, bone loss, and deterioration of your entire jaw if not treated early, likely making this the most serious side effect of losing teeth.

JAWBONE DETERIORATION

The jawbone is responsible for holding the teeth in place. The process of chewing and grinding food keeps it strong and healthy just like other bones that thrive on exercise. A missing tooth negatively affects the jawbone since the gap remains inactive. The inactive space leads to the process of resorption in which the body leeches the calcium from the jaw for other areas of the body. The result is a collapsed facial appearance and the loss of more teeth.

SELF-CONFIDENCE

People who avoid smiling or lack self-confidence in their smile due to crooked/missing teeth will benefit from seeking professional treatment. Missing teeth can also lead to a lack of functions. For example, incisors are responsible for voice production.

If a patient happens to lose any of these teeth, problems in word pronunciation will occur which could, in turn, ruin self-confidence. In addition, the teeth help to keep the facial features in place. A missing tooth can change the shape and appearance of the face, especially along the jaws. This can also be bad for self-image.

At the end of the day, a missing tooth is a big problem that you should address immediately. There are a few options available to replace missing teeth that fit around personal preference or budget.  Ask your dentist about dental bridges, partial or full dentures and dental implants.

Dental implants are often the most highly recommended procedure for tooth loss because they are the only treatment that preserves bone.  The implants substitute your natural tooth roots and stimulate the bone.  The dental implants actually prevent bone loss because it forms a bond with the jawbone.  With dental implants you are free to eat whatever you want knowing you have a stable foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like your natural teeth.

By visiting Dr. Jivraj, the top cosmetic dentist at Anacapa Dental Arts Institute for dental implants in Ventura, CA, you can get back the smile you’ve lost and not have to worry any longer about the unwelcome side effects of missing teeth. Call us today or click here to schedule a complimentary no obligation consultation, and let Dr. Jivraj restore your smile.