Losing a tooth as a child is a celebrated event. Unfortunately, that is not the case with adults. When a permanent tooth is lost or damaged beyond repair, it can be quite devastating. While the aesthetic consequences of a gapped smile are certainly a top concern, there are other setbacks that can occur within your oral health if an adult tooth is not replaced in a timely manner.
Tooth loss can occur when a tooth is severely infected, decayed or damaged. It can also be a result of untreated gum disease. Regardless of how you lost your tooth or whether it was a front tooth or a back molar, it needs to be replaced by a qualified restorative dentist. Bridges and dental implants are available to mimic natural teeth in look, function and feel.
To understand the importance of restorative dentistry after losing a permanent tooth, you must realize what can happen if you choose to avoid or delay your prosthetic tooth. These are consequences that can occur within the first days, weeks or months of losing a tooth:
Threats to Your Smile Confidence. The most obvious concern of losing an adult tooth is the unsightly gap it leaves behind. A missing tooth can cause you to look much older than you really are, and your self-esteem can be greatly compromised.
Limitations in Eating and Speaking. We need all of our teeth to eat properly and speak properly. Digestion of your food begins with chewing. If a tooth is missing, you may have trouble eating certain foods or even be forced to avoid fibrous fruits and vegetables. When it comes to speaking, you may struggle to pronounce certain syllables depending on which tooth is absent.
Shifting Teeth. One of the biggest drawbacks of not replacing a missing tooth is the shifting of the adjacent teeth. Over time these teeth will migrate towards the open gap. This can create misalignment, which makes it difficult to keep your teeth clean and can also create bite problems and jaw pain.
Bone Loss. Another less obvious but serious consequence of missing teeth is bone loss in the jaw. The jaw bone will lose density and shape when there is not a tooth root to stimulate it every day. This can result in premature facial aging caused by a collapse in the lower face. Dental implants are the only way to address this problem.
If you live in the Montevallo area and have suffered tooth loss, we invite you to learn your options in restorative dentistry with Dr. Bobby Shunnarah. We pride ourselves on building beautiful smiles at all stages of life! Our clinic offers implants, bridges, dentures and more.
Posted on behalf of Montevallo Family Dentistry