5 Reasons Why You Should Never Delay Replacing a Missing Tooth
There are a variety of ways a person can lose a tooth. Tooth loss can be due to poor oral hygiene, an accident, or some other event that causes the tooth to come out. Losing a tooth can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience. However, it is important to take action as soon as possible to prevent serious issues.
Options for Replacing Teeth
When a tooth comes out, seeking dental care to help with the issue is important. This is especially important if the tooth came out due to an injury, as there could be other damages to the teeth and mouth. Regardless of the reason, there are options for replacement. Dental surgery may even be an option for permanently replacing a lost tooth.
Teeth that came out due to an injury may be saved. This depends greatly on the amount of damage caused to the tooth and the jaw during the accident. However, to have a tooth saved, getting to a dentist immediately is very important.
In cases where the tooth cannot be saved, there are options available to help replace the tooth with a prosthetic tooth. Dental bridges are an option to replace a tooth by attaching the prosthetic tooth to existing teeth with the use of crowns. A dental implant offers a more permanent solution by implanting a post in the jaw that the prosthetic tooth can be directly attached to.
Having the teeth replaced as soon as possible will prevent a variety of dental issues caused by the gap in the teeth. Delaying the work could pose serious consequences. Below are the top five complications that can come from not replacing a lost tooth.
Teeth are not immovable parts of the body. They have joints and can move in the mouth to help adjust for proper eating. When a tooth is missing, the teeth are no longer held in their proper spaces. The surrounding teeth can eventually start to shift to fill the gap left by the missing tooth.
Without the support needed by the missing tooth, other teeth may begin to push into the space. They may even begin to turn or lay over top of each other. This can diminish the look of a person’s smile and may even pose other complications, depending on how severe the shift is.
The shifting teeth can even affect oral health. The shifting can create new crevices where food and plaque can form. The shifting or overlapping of teeth can make it impossible to properly brush. Bacteria can build and damage the teeth and promote gum disease.
A missing tooth can greatly affect a person’s ability to eat. If it is a front tooth that’s missing, it may be difficult to bite some foods. This may cause a person to avoid foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables. This can have serious consequences for a person’s overall health.
If it is a lost molar, proper chewing may be difficult. Hard foods may not be fully chewed due to the missing tooth. This can create a risk of choking. It may even cause a person to avoid certain foods. This, again, may cause a person to not get the proper nutrients they need.
The jawbone is designed to hold the roots of the teeth in place. Teeth provide constant stimulation to the jawbone that keeps it strong. When that root is no longer there, the jawbone will begin to deteriorate in the area around that missing tooth. The deterioration begins about six months after the loss of the tooth and will slowly progress.
Extensive bone loss can make it difficult for a person to receive proper prosthetics in the future. It can even cause surrounding teeth to become loose. Facial skin may begin to sag around the area, and some facial features may become distorted. This bone loss may even lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint.
Tooth loss can greatly affect a person’s confidence. They may be fearful of others seeing their missing teeth. This can cause them to avoid smiling or talking around other people. In some cases, they may even avoid social situations.
As the deterioration of the jawbone progresses, individuals may begin to feel less confident in their overall appearance. As signs of deterioration begin to show in the face, they can have extreme consequences on a person’s self-image. It may even lead to isolation and depression.
Oral and Overall Health Issues
Tooth loss can lead to serious oral health issues if not cared for immediately after an accident. In cases where the tooth came out due to oral health issues, the problem is already serious. The tooth loss will only create even more issues for the person.
The shifting teeth and new crevices will allow bacteria and plaque to build. Gum disease is likely on the horizon if not already present. If these problems are not addressed, they could lead to serious infections, receding gums, and abscesses in the mouth.
Oral hygiene issues that are allowed to continue can even create health risks throughout the entire body. Gum disease is an infection of the tissue that supports the teeth. Bacteria in the gum can cause inflammation that may enter the bloodstream and damage blood vessels.
The bacteria may even spread to other areas of the body and create additional health problems. Some health risks strongly associated with gum disease are heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Although there are treatments for these health issues, without care for gum disease, the problems may continue to get worse.
It Is Not Too Late
Even those who have put off getting dental care after a tooth loss can get help with their oral health issues. However, the longer they wait, the more extensive the treatments may be to correct the problem. Proper cleaning and care of the teeth and gum are the first steps in correcting the issue.
Replacement teeth are still an option. However, bone grafts may be necessary to mitigate the jawbone deterioration. Orthodontics may also be necessary to realign teeth that have already shifted. Although this may seem like a lot, it is still a better option than just letting the problem get worse.