Losing even one tooth can significantly affect your look and health. Usually, you may not realize the consequences of tooth loss right away, as such changes can happen over time. Thankfully, you can avoid a lot of the negative impacts of having missing teeth by getting modern dental restorations from an Ankeny dental office. If you have missing teeth, you must know how they impact your life and what restoration options you can get from your dentist.
Consequences of Tooth Loss
Tooth loss can lead to the following issues when not addressed right away:
- Unstable teeth. Your teeth support each other, ensuring they are in place. If you lose one tooth, a gap is formed, letting the surrounding teeth shift toward the space and move positions. This can lead to misalignments and can impact the way your teeth fit together. Also, this can cause you to have chewing or biting issues.
- Bone loss. Chewing is important for your oral health and digestion. Your teeth, through their chewing forces, help keep your jawbone strong. If you lose one tooth, your jawbone will experience atrophy, which makes dental restorations such as implants challenging. Not replacing a missing tooth can cause the bone to degenerate significantly. And if you consider getting dental implants, you may need to undergo bone grafting first.
- Gum recession. When your jawbone shrinks due to the lack of stimulation from the missing tooth, the gum tissues also shrink. When this happens, the gums at the site become more delicate than before. False teeth and dentures can easily injure or inflame thinning gums.
- Changes in look. A missing tooth can impact your look. Tooth and bone loss can speed up facial aging, changing your facial structure. After tooth loss, the appearance of your chin, lips, and nose can change.
- Difficulty eating. If you have a missing tooth, you may not be able to chew certain types of food of foods. In turn, this can lead to a lack of nutrition.
- Changes in speech. A missing tooth can cause you to slur some words, spit, or lisp. Also, your tongue can increase in size, which further impacts your speech.
How to Reduce the Impacts of Tooth Loss
No matter how you lost a tooth, it is important to focus on getting a replacement to avoid the negative consequences of tooth loss. Dental implants are the most viable replacement option because they can function like your real teeth. They are designed to act like your teeth roots, giving your jawbone the constant stimulation it needs to continue to grow.