woman checking on Missing Tooth in the mirror

Missing a Tooth? The Surprising Dangers That Are More Than Just Cosmetic

September 27, 2020

A missing tooth can be unsightly and make eating certain foods difficult, but that’s not exactly news. Anyone who’s lost a tooth to injury, decay, dental implant or extraction is likely experiencing concern over these obvious problems.

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, at least 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth. This is more than one in every three people!

If you’re one of the 36% of the population missing a tooth, you may be surprised at the issues that can be caused by failure to replace a missing tooth. Unfortunately, the problems can be much more serious than just cosmetic, and much less obvious than the smile you see in the mirror.

If you’re tempted to see extraction as an inexpensive alternative to replacement options, keep in mind that tooth loss begins a domino effect of problems that can have a negative impact on your health and your wallet.

It’s important to know the problems a missing tooth can lead to. And beware — it’s not good news. But the great news is there are solutions, and at Carrie Muzny DDS & Associates, we offer options for dental implants to once again give you the healthy teeth you deserve.

A Missing Tooth Can Impact Healthy Digestion

The first step in digestion is chewing, and a missing tooth can cause inadequate chewing, making digestion more difficult. What’s more, your remaining teeth will overcompensate and absorb the stress of chewing, potentially causing you pain when you eat some foods.

A Missing Tooth Can Lead to Serious Alignment Problems

Even in adults, teeth move and shift over time. When a large gap exists because of a missing tooth, the remaining teeth can move more than a normal amount as they fill the gap. This leads to problems with occlusion (how your upper and lower jaw connect when you bite). You may find you wind up needing braces if your missing tooth causes alignment problems.

Your TMJ (temporomandibular joint), located on both sides of your face, connects your lower jaw to your skull. If your teeth become misaligned, it can lead to TMJ problems and cause you painful symptoms such as jaw pain or headaches.

A Missing Tooth Can Lead to Bone Loss

When a tooth is removed from your jawbone, the body will begin to break down that bone tissue and transfer its calcium to the blood. This causes the jawbone to deteriorate in that area, and then eventually in the area around the missing tooth.

When this happens, the risk of tooth decay and gum disease in the surrounding area is increased. You may even see changes in the shape of your face over time. Worse, if the bone gets too weak in the area, it will make it difficult or impossible to repair the area without a bone graft.

A Missing Tooth Can Wreck Your Confidence

Your smile is part of who you are, which is why cosmetic dentistry, including teeth whitening, and clear braces are all so popular. When you’re self-conscious about showing your smile, it holds you back personally and professionally.

The way your smile looks isn’t the only concern, either. The gum disease and decay that can result from tooth loss can lead to bad breath that also affects your confidence and overall oral health. Furthermore, misaligned teeth can be harder to clean, leading to poor oral hygiene which has been shown to impact other areas of your health, even potentially causing diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

At times, missing teeth can affect the way you speak, causing a lisp or mispronunciation of certain sounds.

Your teeth are a vital part of your overall health and self-image. Approaching life with confidence is easier when you have a healthy mouth and smile.

Great News — You Can Love Your Smile Again

At Carrie Muzny DDS & Associates, we offer implant supported crowns, which replace missing teeth, are permanent, and function just as a natural tooth would, with a stronger biting force than conventional bridges or dentures.

If you have sustained bone loss from your missing tooth, we can do the necessary bone grafting to prepare the area for a dental implant.

If you’re in the Woodlands, Spring County, Montgomery County, Conroe, Woodloch, Shenandoah, North Houston, and surrounding areas of Texas and experiencing symptoms of missing or misaligned teeth, it’s time to discuss making your smile whole again.

Carrie Muzny DDS & Associates want to restore your smile and your confidence. There’s no need to let a missing tooth snowball into an avalanche of problems, or to let bad teeth hold you back from your true potential in life. Contact us to see how a smile makeover can change your life!

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Dental Implants, Dental Tips, Veneers/Crowns

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