Does missing just one tooth really matter that much?! The unfortunate answer is yes, it matters a lot.
Even if you're not in any pain, even if your jaw feels fine, even if you can still easily chew, that missing tooth is throwing your alignment, jaw bone and joints into complete chaos. And even if you don't feel the effects now, unfortunately, you will.
Let's take a look at what's going on and find out how you can save your mouth from itself before it's too late.
Your mouth is designed to be a full compliment of teeth. Every top tooth needs its bottom tooth, every right tooth needs its left tooth. When a tooth is missing, your remaining teeth start to panic.
When a baby's top two bottom teeth come in, they're matching top ones aren't ever far behind. That's because tooth emergence (or eruption) is controlled by forces that need to balance one another.
When a top tooth is pushed out, it emerges until it meets opposition from its bottom tooth, which keeps it from erupting too far. Super eruption happens when a missing tooth's opposing tooth continues to erupt way past where it's supposed to.
Its root can become exposed, which not only really hurts, but opens the tooth up to serious damage.
Shifting and Drifting
Teeth also tend to shift into empty spaces.
When a tooth is missing, the tooth beside it shifts closer into that empty space, throwing your mouth into even greater imbalance.
All of this side to side shifting and up and down drifting create extra force on overworked teeth and put too much pressure on joints, which can cause temporomandibular joint pain, or TMJ.
Your tooth root stimulates your jaw bone. Once that tooth root is gone, your jaw bone has no reason to maintain its thickness and density, so it begins to collapse in on itself.
First, it starts to shrink width-wise, then height-wise.
Loss of front teeth and bone take support away from your lips, leading to wrinkling of lips and skin around the mouth.
When back teeth like molars and supporting bone are lost, the bite can collapse and overclose. This not only can lead to difficulty pronouncing words, arthritis, and chronic pain, but it seriously ages your face.
Dental implants are by far the best way to replace missing teeth.
Your new tooth restores balance to your mouth and stops the movement of teeth around your missing tooth.
The implant also acts as your new tooth root, stopping bone loss in its tracks. Your bone will actually bind to the implant as if it's your actual tooth root, making it able to maintain its thickness and density.
The goal of your dental implant procedure is to completely restore your teeth as if they were never missing in the first place. Your implants will look and act just like real teeth, you'll be able to eat all of your favorite foods again, and your teeth will look beautiful and natural.
It's time to replace that missing tooth and restore your oral health. We'd love to help. schedule your consultation with us today!