Not many people realize it when they are young, but as you hit your 30's and beyond, it becomes apparent that broken and missing teeth are a fairly common problem for many adults.
Why You Should Not Ignore Missing Teeth
A healthy tooth is basically a sealed gateway into your bloodstream, your skeleton, and the rest of your body. So when one of these little gateways is damaged or removed, what remains is, in effect, an open wound, and that can leave you susceptible to all kinds of harmful conditions.
Below are several problems that can result when a missing tooth is ignored.
When all of your teeth are in place, they exert pressure on each other and help to keep each other in alignment. But when one of them is missing, that pressure is released and this can cause some of the teeth to gradually drift towards the gap.
This shift in alignment causes changes in chewing patterns and tooth wear and can create new problems for the other teeth. Stress is now placed on different parts of the teeth and may cause them to weaken and break faster than usual. Toothaches and headaches are often the result, and once those other teeth start to break, the situation just spirals down even further.
Research has shown that in order to remain healthy and strong, our bones need to have force applied to them regularly. People who spend less time on their feet and who get less exercise every day are more prone to bone deterioration, stress fractures, and bone and joint problems later in life.
The same is true when it comes to our teeth. Chewing places stress -- good stress -- on our jawbones and teeth, and when a tooth is missing, it can cause an imbalance in pressure that effects the other teeth. Bone loss can result and cause further tooth and jaw problems.
Cavities And Gum Disease
As the remaining teeth shift position, gaps and crevices are created which allow food to more easily get stuck in the mouth for days and weeks. These "food traps" then become ideal places for bacteria to grow and thrive. Infection, gum disease and cavities are soon to follow.
Nobody wants their mouth to smell like rotten, decaying meat, but that is exactly what you get when you have food traps, cavities, gum disease, and an infected, open wound in your mouth. Bad breath is hardly a health concern, but it can have a negative effect on your life nonetheless. And again, it's really just a sign that something worse is going on inside of your body.
What Can You Do to Fix a Missing Tooth?
Sometimes, a broken tooth can be salvaged if the problem is addressed in time. But eventually, it reaches the point where extracting the remaining pieces is all that can be done.
The most common fixes today are bridges and tooth implants. Bridges are a quick fix, they look great and they're much less expensive, but they may not be as effective in preventing the problems discussed above in the long term.
Discuss the pros and cons of any procedure with Dr. White and get a head start on fixing those missing teeth today!
Call our Broomall dental office today to schedule your appointment or consultation with Dr. White, your partner in the quest for a beautiful, healthy smile. Our Broomall office delivers exemplary service and distinctive dental care to residents of Broomall, Philadelphia, Delaware County, and surrounding areas.