Missing teeth cause far more problems for your dental health than just a self-conscious smile. What you may not have realised about missing teeth, and why it’s always best to replace them, is that they can greatly affect your dental health and how your mouth looks, functions, and feels.
Luckily, if you’re missing teeth and are feeling self-conscious about your smile, we can provide dental implants and implant-retained dentures. The Sleaford Smiles team in Lincolnshire always recommend replacing a missing tooth because it can not only provide excellent cosmetic results but can also save you from future discomfort and preventable dental treatments.
Missing teeth affect your jaw function and bite
Replacing missing teeth ensures your bite and dental occlusion fits together without endangering any surrounding teeth. When you don’t replace a missing tooth, the surrounding natural teeth can shift and move into the open gap. This will cause problems with your bite, smile, and how your jaw sits together. Of course, this affects your cosmetic smile, but this kind of tooth drifting causes more wear and tear to your teeth than usual. The extra burden shouldered by your remaining teeth can become uncomfortable, leading to improper mouth function and even the need for future (preventable) treatment. The unnecessary colliding and grinding of these displaced teeth could really affect your overall jaw health.
Missing teeth expose your gums
When not replaced, the gap left by missing teeth also leaves your gums exposed and vulnerable to developing gum disease. This occurs because this area otherwise protected by a tooth is left open to food debris and sugars, which attract bacteria. These bacteria break down the food, releasing harmful toxins and acids that inflame our gums. The development of gum disease is entirely preventable, but it can be very painful and uncomfortable to treat once it has progressed. Shielding your gums and replacing missing teeth with dental implants lessens your chances of developing gum disease and the need for further treatment.
Missing teeth expose tooth surfaces
The gap of a missing tooth doesn’t just leave an area of your gums exposed, but they also leave the surfaces of your neighbouring teeth exposed that otherwise wouldn’t be. These unsupported teeth could drift into the gap, but they also risk the build-up of food debris and the bacteria that it encourages. Much like gum disease, this build-up has the potential to develop into cavities and decay, requiring further treatments that could’ve otherwise been prevented. You could even run the risk of tooth extraction should it become an area of concern for us. Opting to replace a missing tooth not only restores your smile, but it can also help you maintain and save the remainder of your teeth.
Missing teeth affect your jaw stability
Your teeth and jaw are in a carefully balanced, mutually beneficial relationship. They rely on each other for stability, function, and overall health, so when you lose a tooth your jaw will feel a knock-on effect. The jaw bone loses signals from the missing teeth and, in their absence, stops producing tissue in that area to keep the bone beneath strong and healthy. This leads to diminished bone density, strength, and structure. Replacing missing teeth with dental implants won’t just ensure feel and function are restored to your teeth, but that the jaw bone itself remains healthy too.
We understand that dental implants could represent an investment to some of our patients, but they really do benefit your dental health. They drastically lessen your chances of developing dental health problems in the future that could have been easily prevented, lessening the need for future unnecessary treatments. Dental implants, when taken care of properly, will last you a lifetime, so replacing missing teeth is definitely worth it.
Speak to a friendly member of our staff on 01529 304 136 or enquire online to find out more about dental implants with Sleaford Smiles today.