Losing a tooth can result in many issues beyond simply cosmetic concerns. Not only are individuals with missing teeth less likely to feel confident in their smile, but missing teeth can escalate oral health issues. Understanding the different ways that losing a tooth can impact your smile can help you to minimize these issues if they should arise. Here at Oral Health Center, we provide many different services to optimize the health of your teeth and keep your smile in pristine condition.
What Happens when you Lose a Tooth?
Teeth are generally lost in two different ways. A tooth may be knocked out due to trauma to the mouth, like during sports. In these situations, it will be important to act immediately to improve the chances of the tooth being successfully saved. Obtain emergency services from a dentist at this time. However, when teeth are lost due to decay, they will need to be replaced and steps will need to be taken to prevent the decay from spreading to other teeth. You certainly still need to see your dentist, but there will be different steps to follow to restore your mouth to superior health. In some cases, your dentist may need to extract the tooth to protect the health of your remaining teeth.
Missing Teeth Problems
Many people fear losing teeth due to the impact it has on the appearance of the smile. However, there are issues that can occur from the absence of a tooth. A tooth that has been lost won’t provide the stimulation to the bone that a tooth would. When this stimulation is lost, the jawbone will lose mass. Not only will this result in an aged appearance, but it will also cause the cheeks to look shrunken in. Loss of bone mass may also result in dental implants not being a viable option for replacing a lost tooth.
When there is a gap in the teeth, other teeth may shift to fill the space. This can result in crooked, misaligned teeth. Not only will this undo expensive orthodontic work, but it will also cause the teeth to be more vulnerable to decay. They will be more difficult to effectively clean when they are crooked. The loss of a tooth may make it difficult to chew food or speak properly. This can lead to poor nutrition. Additionally, tooth loss can lead to self-esteem issues and a lack of confidence.
Solutions for Replacing Lost Teeth
Due to all of the issues that can arise due to missing teeth, it is important to understand the solutions for replacing lost teeth. There are multiple methods and the best method for you will depend primarily on your situation. Dental implants tend to be the most popular method for replacing one or multiple lost teeth. This method implants a segment directly into the jawbone. Once this segment has been implanted, a replacement tooth will be screwed to the top of the implant. This method tends to provide an exceptionally natural appearance and more closely mimics the function of a real tooth. It also prevents the jawbone from deteriorating, as the implant will place regular pressure on the bone.
Dentures, partial dentures, and dental bridges are other alternatives for replacing a tooth that has been lost. Dental bridges are often fixed to surrounding, healthy teeth. The enamel will have to be removed to make room for the bridge to be fixed over them. This is an irreversible process, so it needs to be carefully considered prior to making a decision. Dentures can be used to replace multiple teeth or a full set of teeth. There are multiple options for dentures, as well. Implant fixed dentures use implants strategically placed throughout the mouth to anchor the dentures in place. This helps to create a more secure fit that reduces the likelihood of discomfort and chafing.
Preventing Tooth Loss
Prevention is always the best approach to take when it comes to the health of your teeth. The better you care for your teeth, the less likely your teeth will be to sustain damage. It is absolutely vital to brush your teeth twice a day. Ensure that you brush correctly, as well. Brush for two minutes at a time, using a soft-bristled brush. A toothbrush with harder bristles can damage the enamel of your teeth. Floss daily to remove the food particles that your toothbrush can’t access. You also need to visit your dentist twice annually. This will allow them to catch potential issues with your oral hygiene in the early stages, before they are allowed to escalate to extreme proportions.
There are other things that can help to improve the health of your teeth. Drinking lots of water will help to keep your mouth from drying out, which will minimize the growth of bacteria. Water can also flush out excess food particles and bacteria. Additionally, most areas put fluoride in their water, which means that drinking tap water can significantly improve the health of your smile. Improving your nutrition can also help to improve the health of your teeth.
Contact our Experts
Regular dental visits are incredibly important, even if you maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Dental cleanings can remove hardened plaque, called tartar, from your teeth. These processes will also allow your dentist to thoroughly examine the health of your teeth, which will ensure that issues are caught in the early stages. In addition, dental insurance is designed primarily for prevention. It usually covers 100% of cleaning costs, but won’t completely cover any necessary repair work. Preventing these issues from occurring will save you a significant amount of money in the long run. When you obtain regular dental cleanings, your dentist will be able to inform you if your oral hygiene processes aren’t sufficiently protecting your teeth.
Here at Oral Health Center, we strive to provide our clients with the services that they need to keep their teeth in the best possible condition. To learn more about the options for replacing teeth that have been lost or to schedule your routine dental cleaning and exam, contact us at Oral Health Center today!