Whether caused by accident or the result of an ongoing condition, one thing is clear – untreated tooth loss can be detrimental to your health and self-confidence. While it’s easy to learn to live with a missing a tooth or teeth, the long-term risks that come after a tooth is lost or extracted can require extensive treatment in the future.
When you lose a tooth, here’s what happens to your smile:
Phase 1: Difficulty Chewing, Speaking, and Biting
One of this first consequences patients missing teeth notice is an increased difficulty chewing, biting, and even speaking. For some, it can seem like more of an annoyance than an actual issue. However, this has the immediate side effect on your overall health. If you’re missing teeth, you’re often unable to enjoy crunchy or chewy food, diminishing your ability to eat a balanced diet. While it may not be immediately noticeable, missing out on nutritious fruits, vegetables, and proteins because you can’t eat weakens your immune system. Ultimately, you’re at an increased risk of becoming sicker faster.
Not to mention, missing teeth can make proper speech difficult. Depending on which tooth came out, you may now speak with a lisp and have a harder time enunciating certain words. This can be frustrating as well as making patients more self-conscious about the gap in their smile.
Phase 2: Teeth Begin Shifting
Perfect alignment is like a finely tuned clock – when a piece goes missing, the impact can through the entire system off. When teeth are missing, the teeth next to the gap gradually shift into the empty space. While this doesn’t occur overnight, it doesn’t take long for moving adjacent teeth to drastically change bite alignment. This in turn has a domino-like effect on the rest of the jaw, causing the following:
Phase 3: Increased Risk of Cavities, Gum Decay
Changing alignment also means increased difficulty cleaning around teeth and gums. As teeth move without guidance into a new position, new nooks and crannies are created in your smile. Food and plaque can become trapped in these newly formed, hard-to-reach spaces. This ultimately makes it harder for you to keep your smile clean and increased your risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Teeth aren’t the only components of your smile facing damage. Missing teeth leave empty holes in the gums, which provide new spaces for bacteria and debris to collect, opening the door for gum disease. The longer a patient puts off replacing missing teeth, the more likely it is that they will need to undergo treatment for gum disease first.
Phase 4: Bone Deterioration
One of the most serious consequences of tooth loss is the damage caused to the underlying bone tissue. When teeth are lost or extracted, the bone tissue immediately surrounding the missing tooth root starts to demineralize and weaken.As the immediate area loses density, surrounding bone tissue also deteriorates, which in turn leads to additional tooth loss when neighboring tooth loss. Over time, the jaw loses its structure, causing patients to experience facial collapse and the appearance of premature aging. Once patients reach this phase of bone deterioration, they often need to undergo bone grafting procedures in order to restore density to this important structure.
Missing Teeth? Replace Them Today
At Brandon Complete Dental Care, we know how quickly missing teeth can leave a lasting impact on your overall well being. If you’re missing even one tooth, visit Dr. Richard and Dr. Brenton Assing immediately to discuss your tooth replacement options. Our practice features some of the latest implant dentistry technologies available and is equipped to handle all phases of your implant plan, from bone grafting and gum disease treatment to final restoration placement. Call our Brandon, FL implant dentists today to get started!
Dr. Richard Assing
719 W Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Monday: 8AM – 6PM
Tuesday: 8AM – 6PM
Wednesday: 8AM – 6PM
Thursday: 8AM – 6PM
Friday: 8AM – 12PM