Having missing teeth can make you feel embarrassed about the look of your smile, but that's far from the only thing that missing teeth can do. If you don't know about the long term impact of having one or more teeth missing from your mouth, then you should read this guide to quickly find out more.
Tooth Loss Risk Increases
When you lose one tooth, it often doesn't stop there. The exact reasons behind this phenomenon are many, but in short, if you lose just one tooth, you'll often lose others, too. Unfortunately, this means what might start out as just a single lost tooth could easily turn into more than that.
Another long-term problem when it comes to missing teeth is the risk of having your remaining teeth shift.
You see, while teeth are individuals and aren't connected to each other, that doesn't mean that they don't support each other. When you have all of your teeth, your teeth fill in their slot and then have nowhere to go because they're surrounded by teeth on both sides. However, if one tooth is lost, its neighboring teeth may start to shift inward, towards where the lost tooth was. This is simply because there's nothing there anymore preventing those teeth from moving. As a result, if you have a missing tooth for long enough, your remaining teeth could become noticeably crooked.
Lastly, bone loss is a significant threat when you lose one or more teeth.
Bone loss occurs because teeth - or a good dental prosthetic, like dental implants - are required in order to keep the bones strong. Every bite you take sends a signal to the bone to generate new bone cells and grow stronger. However, when those teeth are lost, the signal stops coming, and the bone starts to grow thinner and weaker as a result. If this goes on for long enough, it can cause a significant level of bone loss and increase your risk of having a bone fracture in the event of a traumatic injury, like a car accident. The only way to get this connection back is by opting to get a dental replacement.
Needless to say at this point, if you're missing one or more teeth, you should do something about it. A good dental replacement like dental implants can prevent these problems from happening, so talk to a prosthodontist at a clinic like New England Dental Specialists of Norwood to get the care you need.