A missing tooth is a serious problem. Each individual tooth in your mouth plays an important role in your overall dental health. Choosing not to replace a missing tooth is a big mistake.
A missing tooth allows the other teeth to shift out of place, so those who assume that a missing back tooth won’t affect their smile can be sadly mistaken.
Surprisingly, a missing tooth also results in more difficulty brushing and flossing around that area of the mouth. And when this toothless part of the mouth isn’t properly cleaned, gum disease sets in, leading to tooth decay and additional tooth loss.
Perhaps the most important reason a missing tooth should be replaced is bone loss. The bone structure that lies beneath the gums holds the teeth in place. Once a tooth is gone, the bone that was supporting that particular tooth begins to wear away.
Bone needs stimulation to maintain its form and density, so without a tooth in that area, the bone begins to break down. This wearing away of bone can cause the teeth surrounding the gap to move inward toward the empty space. Consequently, as mentioned above, one missing tooth can result in several crooked teeth.
If multiple teeth are missing, the bone loss is more significant, and this condition can even lead to an alteration of the facial structure and a change in physical appearance. Worse yet, your ability to chew and even speak could be impaired.
A Solution to Missing Teeth: Dental Implants
If you find yourself in a situation where you have one or more missing teeth, Dr. Tao Sun encourages you to explore the option of dental implants, which are substitute or replacement tooth roots that provide a stable foundation for a replacement crown.
Obviously, preserving your natural teeth is always the best course of action. Nothing beats a healthy natural tooth! Dental implants are a viable alternative, however, because they come closest to imitating the function and stability of your natural teeth.
So, if you’re self-conscious about some spaces in your smile — or perhaps your dentures make you nervous because they don’t feel secure — then dental implants are a strong and stable solution for replacing missing teeth.
For more information about tooth loss or dental implants, you can contact Tao Sun, DDS by calling 949.645.8887 if you’re in Costa Mesa, or call 760.810.7297 if you’re in Apple Valley. We’ll support you in making the best decision for your oral health.