Tooth loss is not uncommon. It tends to become more common after middle age. In fact, by age 50, the average adult has lost 12 permanent teeth, according to various research studuies. Typical causes include gum disease, injury and tooth decay.
Replacing missing teeth is an important part of restoring your confidence in your smile, and it is also key to maintaining dental health and a fully functioning bite. Below, we discuss some of the specific reasons you should replace missing teeth. Of course each situation is unique and dentists provide custom recommendations based on the oral examination.
The Teeth Surrounding the Missing Tooth
When a gap is left by a missing tooth, the surrounding teeth have a tendency to shift because that tooth is no longer helping to keep everything in line. Ultimately, teeth may become crooked or new gaps may appear between teeth.
Another issue that may occur is super-eruption. The tooth that opposes the site of the missing tooth may start to grow out from its position because it no longer has the opposing tooth to resist it. You may experience sensitivity and other issues around this super-erupted tooth. Fortunately, there are many tooth replacement options:
- Dental implants
- Dental bridges
- Rely on your compassionate dentists to help you choose.
- Biting and Chewing
Teeth function as a unit. Properly aligned teeth come together harmoniously when you bite and chew. When you eat and have a missing tooth or teeth, more stress may be placed on the remaining teeth; or, you may not chew adequately because of the missing tooth, which can affect how easily your body is able to digest food. Chewing is the first step in the digestive process. You may find yourself avoiding some of your favorite chewy, crunchy or firm foods because they are difficult to chew.
The Alignment of Your Bite
Woman smiling wide after teeth replacementOcclusion is the way your teeth contact each other. It is the relationship between the upper and lower teeth, and how they come together when you bite down. There is an ideal occlusion, which dentists help you achieve through orthodontic treatment and dental restorations.
A missing tooth eventually leads to changes in your bite, interfering with the ideal occlusion you enjoyed previously. By replacing the tooth, a balanced bite can be restored.
Your Feelings about Your Teeth and Smile
The way you feel about your smile is very important. You should feel beautiful every time you smile! Grinning is an important way to emote and communicate with other people. A missing tooth can easily cause you to hold back. Our dentists love having the privilege of restoring people’s smiles. We get to see the life-changing joy it can bring to someone.