Missing Teeth

Missing teeth can bring more issues than simply cosmetic ones. While they are easily spotted physically, the poor dental conditions they can cause — if not replaced quickly — are not.

These are some of the serious issues you may put yourself at risk for, if you choose not to replace a missing tooth:

Damage to overall dental function

This can include shifting and drifting of the remaining teeth, and jaw function can become unaligned. This can cause uneven wear on the teeth as well, which can lead to ongoing concerns. Changes in speech are also common.

Damage to your self-esteem

Your smile is one of the first things people notice. Cosmetic concerns aside, the constant camouflaging and attempts to hide missing teeth have long term effects on physical and mental health.  People often hide their mouths, smile less, and avoid social situations. These affects add to stress and have poor impacts on things like blood pressure, fat storage, and blood sugar levels.

Jawbone deterioration

When you lose a tooth, you lose bone. It can have serious issues and lead to further bone loss.  Saving and maintaining the bone is key to allow options of replacing the teeth (like dental implants).

What causes tooth loss and how can I prevent it?

Unfortunately, there are countless causes for tooth loss, but these are the most common and how to prevent each of them from happening:

  1. Bad dental hygiene routines. This can lead to a whole other host of dental issues, but it is easily prevented. Simply attend your regular dental checkups to confirm that your dental hygiene routine is solid, and then stick to the routine.
  2. Certain genetic conditions (including uncontrolled diabetes). Unfortunately, some of us may experience genetic conditions that can cause tooth loss. To prevent this, stay in touch with your dentist and doctor to ensure you are taking all necessary steps to prevent tooth loss as a result of these conditions.
  3. Sudden, blunt trauma or immediate stress to the teeth. This is especially common in high-contact events like sports. To help prevent these random injuries, we recommend a mouth guard whenever violent contact is possible.
  4. Bad nutrition habits. This can include drug or alcohol abuse and the use of smoking or chewing tobacco. We recommend speaking with your doctor and dentist to discuss proper oral health habits and how to limit or stop any poor nutrition habits that can lead to lost teeth.

How can I replace my missing teeth?

At South Shore Dental, we offer numerous options for your missing tooth (or teeth). Depending on the length of time a tooth has been missing, we may recommend implant-supported restorations if a tooth has been missing a long time, or a more traditional replacement option (like dental bridges, crowns, or dentures) if a tooth is replaced relatively soon after it is lost. That being said, implant-supported restorations are the best option for your overall oral health, so these are recommended no matter how long a tooth has been missing.

For an appointment or consultation, call (720) 361-2815 today!

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