Children all over the world are losing their baby teeth, and some are being rewarded with monetary gifts from the tooth fairy; however, for an adult, losing a tooth can signify some potentially harmful side effects and future repercussions. Most missing tooth cases are directly caused by physical trauma (i.e. sports incident, slipping/falling on face, etc.) or through poor oral health (tooth decay). Neglecting to address a missing tooth, regardless if it a tooth that is visible or not, will put you at risk for more severe problems.
Loss of Bone
Your teeth fulfill a significant role in your mouth, not only to chew food and help you form words, but they keep your jaw bone stimulated and healthy. When you lose your teeth, your jaw bone lacks the stimulation that your missing tooth once provided and then begins to weaken and wither. With dental implants, an oral surgeon will implement a substitute for your missing tooth and help reinvigorate the dormant bone which will ultimately replenish its health.
Teeth May Shift
When you are missing teeth, you are more susceptible to having your teeth shift. A missing tooth creates a giant gap in your gums which creates space for a tooth to move. Your tooth can move for a multitude of different reasons from tooth decay to a receding gum line. However, as soon as one tooth begins to shift, it presents an opportunity for the teeth surrounding it to shift also. With multiple teeth beginning to shift, you could misalign most of your teeth and could soon be left with a construed bite.
As previously mentioned, an impacted bite is detrimental to your oral health; yet, it is also detrimental to your physical health. When you chew with an aligned bite, the muscles in your face and neck are relaxed; when your bite is misaligned, you are putting undue stress on your facial muscles which can result in migraine headaches, muscle discomfort, enamel loss, and tooth sensitivity. In severe cases of misalignment, patients have been diagnosed with TMJ which can affect an individual for years.
Drooping Facial Structure/ Trouble Forming Words
Your teeth have a drastic impact on how your face looks. Your teeth are used to help support the jaw bones, which ultimately are responsible for your faces shape and smile. Missing teeth can cause your face to appear that it’s sinking and ageing rapidly with wrinkles. You will also have a difficult time forming words coherently, which on top of being extremely frustrating for you, may cause you to spit or whistle while speaking and cause you to slur your words.
Ensure that if you lose any of your teeth, you act immediately as a prolonged wait to receive treatment can be harmful. Bone loss, shifting teeth, an impacted bite, your physical appearance and the ability to form words are all important reasons to take immediate action for missing teeth. Your smile appreciates it!