The Invisible Problems Caused by Missing Teeth
Posted: August 20, 2021
Last Modified: June 6, 2022
If it’s not there, it’s easy to forget. When you’re missing a tooth in the front of your mouth, you likely see the gap every time you look in the mirror, but you might be waiting until you’re more comfortable with dental treatment. However, if you’re missing a tooth in the back of your mouth, where no one can easily see the space, you’re much more likely to forget about it and carry on with life as usual.
Unfortunately, the longer you postpone your visit to a dental office in Barrie, the more likely you are to develop long-term complications from your missing tooth. You’re also not alone in this situation. If you’re between 20 and 64 years old, you likely have at least 3 decayed or missing teeth. And if you put off treatment, you’re leaving yourself at risk for a whole host of problems (yes, even if your remaining teeth don’t hurt).
The Dangers of Ignoring Missing Teeth
There are plenty of reasons why you might find yourself with one or more missing teeth. Perhaps you were playing a sport, and an errant ball or puck smacked into your jaw and cracked a tooth that you later lost. Maybe you didn’t catch advanced gum disease in time (if you haven’t already, regular checkups with your Barrie dentist are the best way to prevent gum disease from progressing), and you lost one or several teeth as your gums became infected. Maybe a period of poor nutrition in your life left your teeth weak, and you lost a few throughout normal use.
Whatever the reason, you’re missing at least one tooth. The longer you postpone addressing it, the higher likelihood that you’ll be putting up with multiple problems pertaining to your oral health and mental well-being.
Common Problems From Missing Teeth
Your jawbones are preserved by chewing and the pressure it exerts. When you’re missing one or more teeth, there’s no pressure to signal that the particular area of bone is still needed, so the bone deteriorates away, and at a much faster rate than you’d expect. In fact, in a single year after the loss of a tooth, you can lose up to 25% of your bone.
Shifting or Moving Teeth
Your teeth help hold each other in place, which means that when one or more are missing, your teeth are likely to shift. This can cause a host of other problems, including jaw pain from a misaligned bite, but it’ll also undo any orthodontic work you’ve previously had done, which can put you back right where you began in terms of your teeth alignment.
Trouble Chewing or Speaking
We rely on our teeth a great deal more than we realize. But once you’ve lost a tooth, you quickly understand all the work it was doing. You might have difficulty chewing, or may even be unable to eat certain foods due to the pain, leading you to avoid certain foods (and the nutritional benefits they contain). You might also have trouble speaking or forming words as you normally would, which can lead to embarrassment and a reluctance to participate in conversations.
What Are The Options?
The good news is that missing teeth don’t have to stay missing. From dental implants to bridges and dentures, there are plenty of different options for you to choose from. The first step to replacing your lost tooth is to make an appointment with your preferred dentist’s office (Barrie residents who don’t yet have a dentist can contact our office to make an appointment).
From there, your dentist will conduct a personalized exam and consultation to determine which options would be best suited for your particular situation, and then will work with you to determine the avenue of treatment you’d like to pursue. When they’re done, you’ll have a replacement tooth that, with proper care, may very well last you the rest of your life.
Contact Your Dentist Office in Barrie
Providing preventive and restorative dental services to each and every member of your family is one of our specialties at Dr. Elston Wong Dentistry. Our team will conduct an oral health examination before suggesting any specific treatment.
As well as listening to your concerns, we will also discuss what your goals are for your teeth. Our recommendations for treatment are based on the consideration of all of these factors. The purpose of dental services isn’t just to fix your teeth; it is to make sure they function efficiently every day and make you feel better about your smile and your overall sense of confidence.
If you’d like to learn more about dental services from Dr. Elston Wong in Barrie, give us a call at (705) 721-1143 or send us a message online.