5 Dangers of Not Replacing a Missing Tooth

Here are five dangers associated with not replacing a missing tooth.

When it comes to missing teeth, some people head to the dentist right away, while others choose to wait weeks, months, or years before resolving the issue. If you talk to a professional medical provider, you will learn that the former group has a better shot at retaining their oral health. Here are five dangers associated with not replacing a missing tooth.

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Shifting Teeth

One thing you might not know about your mouth is that your teeth do not operate individually. Instead, they rely on each other and work as a cohesive system. One way in which they do so is keeping the teeth next to them in place. This is why they tend to shift in unfavorable ways when you have a missing tooth. They could become crooked, not fit together anymore, and be especially prone to fractures. Getting a replacement protects you from these outcomes.

Gum Diseases

The primary cause of gum disease is food getting stuck in areas that you do not brush or floss, which then leads to harmful bacteria growth in your mouth. While a missing tooth does not put the gum directly above it on danger, the misalignment of the rest of your mouth will give food more books and crannies to hide in. The end result could be bacteria growth and subsequent gum disease, which will take a significant amount of treatment to fix.

Jaw Complications

As mentioned previously, the mouth is a cohesive system, not a collection of independent parts. The second consequence of this effect is TMJ complications, as your teeth extend all the way down to your jaw bone. Contracting this condition leads to significant pain, and in the worst cases, misaligns your jaw to a dangerous degree.

Bone Loss

Every bone in your body operates in the same way. When you use them, they get stronger. When you don’t, they weaken. This is why doctors recommend that the elderly do a bit of weightlifting, as doing so increases bone density. In the context of the mouth, a missing tooth will start to eat away at the jaw bone that it was once connected to. This condition can reach a point where it changes the shape of your face.

Eating Difficulties

Lastly, those with missing teeth will have issues with many foods. As you can imagine, eating anything that it hard, sticky, or crunchy will hurt your gums and teeth near the missing spot. Not only can this process cause damage, but you might have to give up many of your favorite foods.

The final issue to discuss is whether or not you should replace “baby” teeth, which dentists often refer to as “primary” teeth. While repairing a permanent tooth is definitely advisable, these impermanent are usually okay to leave out. The correct way forward will come down to the specifics surrounding the lost tooth and your priorities. Finding yourself in this situation warrants a trip to your local St. Louis dentist. Give us a call today at (314) 862-7844.

Updated: August 31, 2021

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