Why You Should Never Ignore a Missing Tooth

Are you missing a tooth but don’t know if it’s worth getting a dental implant or a bridge? Estimates show that 178 million Americans have a missing tooth, and many of them choose to ignore it, especially if the gap isn’t noticeable when they smile. 

Despite common belief, a missing tooth not only impacts your aesthetics, but it can lead to more serious health issues and more tooth decay if left untreated. 

At MediDental Care, we want you to be informed about the dangers of ignoring a missing tooth.

Jaw bone loss

Over time, your muscles and bones atrophy when you don’t use them. This goes for your jaw bone too. 

When you chew on food, your teeth apply pressure on your jaw, stimulating your jaw bone and encouraging bone cell production.

However, if you’re missing a tooth, there’s no pressure being applied to that area of your jaw. Within just a year after an extraction, you can experience a significant amount of bone loss if you don’t get an implant.

Misalignments and loose teeth 

When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth have a tendency to drift into the gap left by the missing tooth and cause misalignments. Misalignments often lead to crooked teeth and jaw pain. In fact, studies suggest a link between missing/loose teeth and temporomandibular disorders, hence the jaw pain.

The roots of moving teeth can also become loose, making chewing more difficult.

Altered facial features

In addition to keeping your jaw bone strong by stimulating it, teeth also support the muscles of your face. When you’re missing teeth, your face may appear sunken and you may develop new wrinkles, especially if you have missing teeth on the upper side of your mouth. 

Dental implants can prevent changes to your facial features, and some studies show that implants have a high satisfaction rate among older adults.

Learn more about how to replace your missing teeth

It may seem like you’ll save money by ignoring your missing teeth. However, by doing so, you can end up with even more costly issues in the future. Your risk for misalignments and loose teeth increases when you don’t address the gap in your smile, and you may develop an increased risk for gum disease as well. 

Fortunately, you have several options for preventing complications. If you live in Astoria, New York, and are concerned about your missing teeth, contact us to schedule an appointment to get expert advice on what to do next.

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