A missing tooth isn’t just a cosmetic concern. Missing teeth can impact how your mouth functions, causing problems during speech and eating as well as impacting your gums and jawbone.
If you have a missing tooth, getting a dental implant may be necessary to avoid further dental problems. In this post, Seattle dentists Drs. Don Jayne and Dean Kois discuss the dental effects of a missing tooth.
Bone Loss Can Occur
Without a tooth to support, the supporting bone surrounding the tooth can actually start to deteriorate. This can cause further problems as the nearby teeth have less support and start to weaken.
Bone grafting may be necessary if your jawbone has already started to deteriorate. Once the bone graft has healed, a dental implant can be put in place of the missing tooth.
Increased Risk of Gum Disease
The area of your gums surrounding your missing tooth is at an increased risk of becoming infected, resulting in gum disease. Food and other particles can get into this area and the bacteria can lead to periodontitis.
If you have a gum infection, you should see a dentist immediately. Your gums may also start to pull back, as both your jawbone and gums compensate for the gap caused by the missing tooth.
Trouble Eating and Speaking
Your speech and ability to chew can be impacted by a missing tooth. This can be particularly problematic if you have multiple missing teeth.
You may start to overuse your other teeth when eating to make up for your missing tooth. This leads to increased wear-and-tear, which could cause problems with your remaining teeth.
Emotional Impact of a Missing Tooth
A missing tooth can have a big impact on your self-confidence. You may be hesitant to smile in pictures or feel insecure about eating or speaking in front of other people. A missing tooth can also impact your facial appearance, as your cheeks begin to sag because they have less support.
Replacing your missing tooth with a dental implant is both a cosmetic and functional procedure. Not only can you feel better about smiling again, you can also prevent a host of dental complications that are caused by missing teeth.
Consult a Dentist about Your Missing Tooth
Drs. Jayne and Kois can identify any dental effects of your missing tooth and recommend a treatment plan to make your smile whole again and regain your self-confidence. Schedule your consultation by calling (206) 623-4400 today.