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Promote Oral Health by Replacing Missing Teeth
Missing teeth can deal a blow to anyone's self-confidence, and waiting to replace those teeth can cause big problems in your oral health. As soon as a tooth falls out (or is knocked out), the remaining teeth begin to go through some negative changes almost immediately. You can drastically improve your oral health by replacing any missing teeth right away.
The effects of missing teeth
Within a few days, the surrounding teeth, gums and jawbone start to go through changes that can negatively affect oral health. Below is a list of potential effects from not replacing missing teeth in a timely manner.
The surrounding and opposing teeth begin to shift into space formerly occupied by the lost tooth. This begins to happen within the first week after tooth loss has occurred. The teeth naturally move toward open space in an effort to fill it. This can cause spacing issues and malocclusion (a condition characterized by teeth not fitting together properly).
In turn, malocclusion can cause a variety of other problems, such as a heightened risk for tooth decay and TMJ. TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) is characterized by clicking, popping and pain in the jaw joint on one or both sides. Replacing the tooth can stop these oncoming effects and improve oral health.
The jawbone is kept strong by tooth roots. The bite force applied to the jaw through the tooth roots is what keeps the bone working properly. When a tooth vacates its spot in the jawbone, the jaw is no longer being used in that area. Due to disuse, the jaw begins to deteriorate and shrink away. This shrinking can cause the face to take on a sunken appearance, making someone look much older than they actually are.
Thankfully, replacing the missing tooth (or teeth) with a dental implant as soon as possible can save the jawbone from these unfortunate effects. Other teeth replacement methods like dentures or bridges are less expensive options, but they do not preserve the jawbone like a dental implant.
Tooth loosening and eventual loss
If left untreated for a long period of time, the opposing tooth can begin to loosen. Much like the jawbone, other teeth are kept in place by bite force. Because there is no opposing tooth, the upper or lower tooth opposite the missing tooth will begin to loosen. This eventually leads to further tooth loss. Jawbone volume loss can cause a domino effect, with the result of more tooth loss.
Replacing a tooth right away
Teeth can fall out due to many different reasons — sports injuries, auto accidents, the effects of aging, extended periods of poor oral hygiene and even conditions like osteoporosis can cause tooth loss. Losing a tooth (or multiple teeth) can be a stressful experience, made worse by the inevitable negative oral health effects.
Replace your tooth right away to avoid any big costs down the line, improve your oral health and improve your quality of life. Call our office today to get you started on the road to a better smile.
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