Missing teeth can certainly detract from an otherwise beautiful and inviting smile. But did you know that a missing tooth is more than just a cosmetic flaw? The absence of a tooth can have lasting ramifications on your overall oral health. Here are some of the reasons that you should consider having a missing tooth replaced by North Dallas implant dentist Darian Hampton, DDS, serving Plano, Farmers Branch, Lewisville, Carrollton and the surrounding areas.
1. Bone Loss
Normally, the teeth stimulate the underlying bone (called the alveolar bone) by putting pressure on it through biting and chewing motions. When one or more teeth are absent, the alveolar bone starts to shrink progressively, or “resorb” because it is no longer being stimulated. Resorption can eventually decrease chewing ability; it can also cause the lower third of the facial structure to collapse.
2. Gum Shrinkage
As the bone resorbs, the gum tissue that covers it also shrinks. This is not only aesthetically unappealing, but also dangerous, as it can result in food becoming stuck under the adjacent teeth.
When a tooth falls out, it’s common for the remaining teeth to shift around in the mouth and even drift into the vacant space left by missing teeth. Teeth generally have a tendency to move toward the front of the mouth and toward the opposing jaw, unless something (i.e., the other teeth) blocks them.
4. Disease or Decay
Teeth that have shifted can be difficult to clean properly. This makes them vulnerable to plaque buildup (and eventually, cavities and periodontal disease).
5. Occlusion Problems
A missing tooth can throw off the occlusion, or the position of the teeth, when the jaw is closed. Occlusion problems can be annoying (limiting dietary choices) and painful, even leading to serious conditions of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which require costly and intensive treatment.
If you have lost one or more teeth, this information is not meant to alarm you. Instead, it should encourage you to pursue treatment with cosmetic and implant dentist Darian Hampton, DDS. Dr. Hampton offers several replacement options for missing teeth, such as bridges and dental implants in North Dallas and the surrounding areas, including Plano, Farmers Branch, Lewisville and Carrollton. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hampton, please call our office at 972.395.9292 or send us an email.