Whether it was a result of an accident or tooth decay that went too far, you’ve had to say “goodbye” to one of your pearly whites. Tooth replacement means more dental work, and you’re not sure if you should go ahead: so, what are the consequences of not replacing a missing tooth?
Without being alarmist, it’s worth being informed about the consequences of leaving the gap, because they’re more serious than you may have realized.
Your body is very economical. What you don’t need, you lose. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work in your favour! A process called bone resorption is at work all the time, but when your jawbone lacks the stimulation that tells it has a job to do in a certain area, the bone begins to break down a lot faster.
Wearing dentures won’t prevent this from happening. What you need is a dental implant that keeps your jawbone working to support a tooth, albeit an implanted one.
Teeth on the Move
As the jawbone shrinks owing to resorption, the healthy teeth that are next to the gap start moving inwards to fill it. Previously, they were aligned with their upper or lower neighbours to form an efficient chewing machine, but as they move, they become misaligned.
Whereas you only had one space in your mouth that couldn’t chew effectively right after extraction, in time, you end up with a whole area of your mouth that doesn’t do what it’s meant to.
Apart from this problem, the migrating teeth are no longer as firmly rooted into your jaw. They become vulnerable too.
More Headaches; More Dental Repairs
You might think that losing a tooth is a metaphorical headache but failing to replace it can result in a very real headache, or even migraines. When our teeth don’t fit together as they should, the resulting strain on the jawbone, causes headaches. But your problems don’t end there.
With teeth wondering away from their proper places, they become misaligned. Now, they need to deal with stresses they never experienced before and which they weren’t meant to tolerate. Your teeth are more prone to breaking, and fillings and crowns are more likely to break too.
A Sunken Face and Premature Ageing
You may have hard that some models have their wisdom teeth pulled so that their faces look thinner. But too many missing teeth or missing teeth in the wrong places mean that your face becomes sunken and haggard. Even the fashion models who undergo voluntary extractions are placing themselves at risk of a prematurely aged look that will only worsen as time goes by.
Discuss Tooth Replacement Options with Your Dentist
There are several tooth replacement options, but the best of all remains the dental implant. It prevents bone loss, tells your jaw that it still has a job to do, and prevents the migration of teeth and the resulting misalignment that springs from that.
If you’ve been delaying tooth replacement, you should act as soon as possible to save yourself from all the problems that come from missing teeth. Call our dentist in Port Coquitlam for an appointment, and we’ll prepare a treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs.