5 Problems Caused By Missing Teeth
There are many causes of missing teeth, such as tooth decay, periodontal disease, injury, TMJ, and more. Left untreated, though, missing teeth can not only be unsightly, but they can cause significant negative impacts on your life and your health over time. Why is it so important to replace missing teeth?
1. A Missing Tooth Can Affect Your Appearance
A missing tooth, particularly in the front of your mouth, can affect your appearance. In turn, it can affect your self-esteem and confidence. You may be too self-conscious to smile. You may hide your mouth when you talk. There can be serious emotional impacts to missing teeth.
Over time, missing teeth can also affect your facial structure. Because all your teeth are no longer present to stabilize your cheeks and lips from the inside of the mouth, the cheeks can start to appear saggy and hollow. This can lead you to look older than you are.
2. It Can Affect Your Confidence
When you’re not happy with your smile, you can lose confidence, and this can have impacts on your social and professional life. People can sense confidence and they tend to treat people differently when they smile. They view those who smile as more relaxed, reliable, sincere, and attractive. In our modern-day society, a great smile is often associated with beauty and health.
Replacing missing teeth can get you smiling more confidently again, so you don’t have to hide anymore. Contact a cosmetic dentist to learn about your options.
3. Missing Teeth Encourage Tooth Movement
Though your teeth are set firmly in your jaw bone, they can move and shift if a gap is left after a tooth has been extracted or falls out. For example, a missing tooth in the lower jaw can cause the tooth directly above the gap to grow longer.
This can cause significant problems.
Shifting teeth can spell trouble for your jaw function. If your teeth move out of position, even slightly, it can cause malocclusion. This can have negative impacts on your bite, which can cause significant jaw, gum, and tooth pain every time you bite down or chew.
Malocclusion is particularly common for patients who have missing back teeth. You may start biting on your front teeth more, which can lead to chipped or cracked teeth due to the extra force being placed on them.
4. Gaps Can Lead to Crooked Teeth
When your existing teeth move out of place in order to fill the gaps left behind by missing teeth, they can become crooked. Not only does this affect your smile, but it can also make it more difficult for you to effectively clean your teeth. As a result of not being able to brush properly, you can become more susceptible to tooth decay. You may require more dental work and may lose more teeth due to decay. It can become a never-ending cycle of extraction.
5. You Could Have Difficulty Eating
If you have missing teeth, you could have to avoid eating certain foods you love. You may be forced to eat only soft foods because your back teeth can no longer grind, shred, and tear tougher foods like meat. If you’re missing your front teeth, you might have to avoid biting into apples and similar foods.
With reduced chewing ability also comes indigestion. If you cannot properly chew your food, it can be difficult for your body to digest what you swallow.
Though missing teeth may affect your appearance and confidence, they can also have negative impacts on your general health and mouth health as well. If you’ve lost teeth to tooth decay, injury, or other causes, it’s important to replace them. Dental implants can fill in the gaps so you can smile and eat confidently again.