22 December 2020
If you have one or more missing teeth, the resulting gap left in your mouth has the potential to affect your oral health. Depending on the location of the gap, the impacts can be severe. Let’s take a look at some of the problems missing teeth can cause:
- Shifting teeth. When a space exists in your mouth due to a missing tooth, your healthy teeth will shift into the empty space. However, your teeth were designed to work together in their original configuration, and moving teeth can cause continued issues.
- Bite changes. Over time, your bite can change to compensate for missing teeth. The resulting bite may cause teeth to rest at odd angles and grind against one another, increasing your chances for broken, chipped, or sensitive teeth.
- Difficulty chewing. You may need to eat slower or chew on one side of your mouth to avoid the gap. In addition, if your bite changes to compensate for the missing tooth, it may be more difficult to chew food properly.
- Changes in speech patterns. Your teeth have a marked effect on the way you speak. Missing one or more teeth or the shifting that results from a missing tooth can cause you to speak differently or encounter issues making some normal speech sounds.
- Bone loss. If your teeth are missing for an extended period, the portion of your jawbone in which they were meant to rest can weaken and deteriorate. Over time, this can cause the shape of your face to change.
Solutions for Tooth Loss
Fortunately, if you have experienced tooth loss, there are a few potential dental solutions to prevent the above issues. The three most commonly used and effective treatments for tooth loss include:
- 1. Dental implants. If you are missing a single tooth or multiple teeth in several different areas, dental implants can help restore your bite. A dentist will mount a titanium screw and implant into your jawbone and top it with a porcelain crown that resembles your missing tooth.
- 2. Dental bridges. If you are missing more than one tooth in the same area, a dental bridge is often the recommended solution. Dental bridges consist of a prosthetic tooth affixed to your neighboring, healthy teeth with dental cement and are a relatively permanent solution.
- 3. Removable dentures. Depending on whether you need to replace all or a small portion of your teeth, your dentist may recommend removable full or partial dentures. Prosthetic teeth are affixed to a plastic base that resembles your soft tissue and held in place by your gums and any existing teeth.
If you are missing one or more teeth, it is essential to address the problem with your dentist right away to avoid bone loss and other oral health issues. If your dentist cannot schedule an appointment in a timely manner, consider requesting a list of emergency and urgent dental providers in your area. Call Emergency Dental Service at 1-888-350-1340 or reach out online for experienced dentists near you.