If you are one of the 40 million Americans that has at least one missing tooth, it’s important that you know that it’s not just aesthetic challenges you face. Most dislike the way the mouth looks with missing teeth, but there may be other, larger health risks that come with not replacing your teeth.
1. Shifting Teeth
Each tooth works as a placeholder to keep the other teeth around it in place. Once a tooth is missing, the others can shift over time and misalign your bite. If you once had a straight smile, you may quickly notice that your teeth are out of alignment. When you lose teeth, it’s important to replace them quickly so the others don’t shift.
2. Oral Health Care
Caring for your gums and teeth are so important to your overall health. Once the teeth shift and move out of alignment, it can be harder to reach certain areas to floss or brush. If bacteria and plaque are left on the teeth, you may quickly develop periodontal disease. This can lead to more lost teeth over time.
If the upper and lower jaw don’t meet when you bite down, you may deal with problems with the temporomandibular joint in the jaw. As teeth shift out of alignment over a period, you may notice jaw pain, headaches, clicking noises and the inability to open your jaw all the way.
4. Bone Loss
The tooth’s root is secured in the jawbone and stimulates it to grow and regenerate bone. When the root is gone, the bone can crumble and die. Fortunately, dental implants are placed directly in the jaw, so bone loss is minimal when teeth are replaced quickly.
If you have missing teeth, it’s easy to feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in both your personal and professional life.
If you are interested in receiving dental implants, contact our office in Oklahoma City, OK to schedule an appointment with our doctor, Dr. Van Horn, by calling our new patient line at (405) 757-2122. We can work together to determine whether you are a good candidate for implants!
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