When some adults lose a tooth, they feel so embarrassed about the situation that they do not visit a dentist to take care of the problem. The outstanding team of dentists at Northfield Dental Group in West Orange, New Jersey want to stress the importance of replacing a missing tooth in a timely manner. To encourage you to fill in a vacant space, our experts explain the consequences of ignoring your missing tooth.
Your Bite Is Harmed
Most people who have a missing tooth adjust the way they bite food to compensate for the gap by chewing on just one side of their mouth. Altering your bite may seem like a good solution in the short-term, but it can cause more serious damage: disrupting your natural biting motion can lead to migraines, tooth pain and bruxism (teeth grinding).
Other Teeth Become Misaligned
Teeth tend to start drifting out of position when they do not have teeth to either side to keep them in place. Accordingly, if a gap develops in a row of teeth, the adjacent teeth start to shift toward the vacant space. This often triggers a domino effect where the other teeth start shifting as well, significantly impacting the straightness of your teeth.
Insecurity about Your Smile
Naturally, cosmetic concerns are also valid when you have a missing tooth. Depending on the position of the tooth, your gap may be noticeable each time you open your mouth, which may prompt you to limit your speech or stifle your smile. Ultimately, it is much easier to replace a tooth than to try to hide the vacancy indefinitely from your friends.
Your jawbone and teeth are intrinsically linked: just as the jawbone strengthens the teeth, the teeth play a role in keeping the jawbone strong as well. Specifically, the roots of your teeth bolster the jawbone by promoting bone growth. When a tooth comes out of the jawbone, these strengthening benefits similarly vanish and the deterioration of the jawbone accelerates. As your jawbone progressively weakens, your other teeth may also fall out. Moreover, bone loss can change the appearance of your face and make your face look sunken.
When the gums do not have a tooth to surround, this tissue becomes thinner. Consequently, this poses problems for the adjacent teeth that rely on being supported with strong tissue. If gums continue to recede, the nearby teeth become more sensitive and prone to infection.
Ready to Replace a Missing Tooth?
The dentists at Northfield Dental Group are some of the best restorative dentists in the business. Whether you decide to replace a missing tooth with a dental bridge or a dental implant, you can count on receiving excellent care and great results from our experts. To schedule an appointment, please call (973) 736-0111.