We often talk about the need to replace your missing teeth. We discuss options that range from dental bridges to dentures and even advanced dental implants. But what makes tooth loss so bad for your smile? In today’s blog, we’re going to take a look at the dangers that missing teeth can pose for the health and function of your smile.
Gaps and Misalignment
When you have a gap in your smile, the surrounding teeth may eventually begin to drift from their positions. Soon, you can develop misalignment as your teeth crowd or become crooked. Over time, misalignment increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease as proper brushing and flossing become more difficult. An uneven smile also leads to pressure on the jaw joints, increasing the chances of TMJ disorder or bruxism (teeth grinding) developing.
Losing Jawbone Density
When the body registers a missing tooth root, it suspends the flow of calcium and phosphorus to the jawbone around the lost tooth. Without these nutrients, the jawbone itself begins to dissolve, leading to further tooth loss. In the long run, this can also lead to an older appearance as patients develop sunken cheeks, ptotic chins, and other signs of aging.
Problems Eating and Speaking
Losing multiple teeth can mean subsisting mainly on a diet of soft foods, depriving your body of essential nutrients and vitamins. You may also have trouble speaking clearly, which can make communication difficult and impede your social life. Not to mention the embarrassment of the gaps in your smile. Fortunately, we can offer prosthetics to address these concerns. A dental implant can prevent misalignment, stimulate the growth of jawbone tissue, and even allow you to eat and speak as you did prior to tooth loss. Dentures can address advanced tooth loss, and a bridge can prevent misalignment and fill in the gaps in your smile.
Do You Have a Gap in Your Smile?
Dr. Lawson and our team can recommend options to fill the spaces in your smile. We can also discuss routine care to help you maintain optimal oral health for years to come. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling our sleep dentistry office in Urbandale, IA, at 515-278-4366.