Why You Should Never Ignore a Missing Tooth

If you’ve lost a tooth, you’re probably concerned about how your smile looks. But the impact of a missing tooth goes well beyond aesthetic gaps in your smile.

Tooth loss can indicate you’ve developed health problems or that you could be facing serious issues down the line. With multiple ways to safely and effectively replace your lost teeth, there’s no reason to take further risks to your health.

Here at Dental Care by Design in Lacey, Washington, Dr. Larry R. Adams helps patients regain a full set of teeth through modern procedures such as dental implants, bridges, and dentures. Keep reading to learn why you should never ignore missing teeth and more about the convenient options that exist to replace them.

Health problems missing teeth can indicate

If you’ve lost teeth unexpectedly for reasons other than trauma, it might indicate you have an underlying health condition that needs immediate treatment. You can receive that treatment while replacing the tooth. Two health issues that commonly cause tooth loss are advanced gum disease and osteoporosis.

Gum disease

At an advanced stage, gum disease causes your jawbone and gums to weaken, and pockets in your gums form that create spaces between your teeth and gums. As these pockets get bigger, your teeth can loosen and fall out. 

Osteoporosis

Losing a tooth is often one of the initial signs you have osteoporosis, a condition that causes your bones to weaken and lose density. This is an especially common cause of tooth loss for people older than 65.

Health problems missing teeth can cause

Even if your tooth loss doesn’t indicate an underlying health condition, failing to replace a missing tooth might cause health problems down the road. Frequent side effects of a missing tooth include bone loss, weakened facial structure, and difficulties with eating and speaking.

Bone loss

Every time you chew using your teeth, it stimulates and strengthens the bone under your teeth. If you have a missing tooth, the bone no longer receives that stimulation, causing it, and ultimately your jawbone, to become weaker.

Weakened facial structure

When you’re missing teeth, your mouth changes shape and your facial skin might start to sag. Your entire bite can change, and your healthy teeth might unexpectedly move around.

Difficulties eating and speaking

Changes in your bite and the placement of your teeth might make it harder to chew your food and say certain words. Your existing teeth will be under additional strain every time you chew, causing them wear-and-tear.

Tooth replacement options

No matter what caused your tooth loss, Dr. Adams offers solutions that can help you prevent further damage to your mouth. At the Dental Care by Design office, he has three ways to treat patients with tooth loss: dental implants, bridges, and dentures.

Dental implants

Dental implants fuse replacement titanium tooth roots to your jaw, creating a tooth that looks and works just like the original. Dr. Adams completes the insertion process in just two visits, first inserting the implant, followed by adding a crown to the implant.

Bridges

Patients who aren’t candidates for dental implants can receive a bridge. For this treatment, Dr. Adams fastens a porcelain tooth to your surrounding natural teeth using crowns, which look and function like your original teeth.

Dentures

Today’s modern dentures are a fantastic solution if you’re missing a significant number of your natural teeth. Dr. Adams offers fixed or removable implant-based dentures and flexible partial dentures, depending on your needs. 

If you’re missing any teeth, act now to replace them and keep your mouth healthy. At your initial appointment, Dr. Adams evaluates your mouth and recommends the treatment options that work best for your unique situation. 

Call Dental Care by Design today or request your appointment online.

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