A: So, you know, we take wisdom teeth out all the time and nothing happens. But it’s different with one of our front teeth or some of our back teeth.
If we remove them for any number of reasons, usually infection, fracture, or what have you, if we don’t replace them we see teeth start to shift. That can create other bite problems.
We also know that the most common tooth to break is a tooth next to a missing tooth. If we’ve removed a tooth like a molar, the tooth right in front will often be the next tooth that breaks.
The reason is because that force of your jaw is still there but you don’t have the molar, for instance, to take the force.
So that force is transferred over to the other teeth. So we’ll see bite issues, sometimes we’ll get decay in the teeth next to them. It can create a whole mess of other issues of we’re not replacing teeth in a timely fashion.
When your teeth are such a critical player in your daily life activities, you can easily take them for granted. You just assume that they will always be there no matter what. However, you should not count on that being a reality.
The fact of the matter is that millions of Americans suffer from missing teeth for many different reasons. So, it’s quite normal, but what’s important is that you realize missing teeth, if not replaced, can cause a lot of problems.
When you don’t replace a tooth it can have a serious impact on your physical appearance, your nutrition, and your overall health. Not to mention, it also puts your other teeth at risk for damage. We’ll get more into that in a bit as we dive into tooth loss.
Most Common Reason For Tooth Loss In Corpus Christi
While tooth loss does become more likely as you age, it can happen at any age. The most common causes of tooth loss are:
- Decay: When you let plaque buildup on your teeth, over time it wears down the protective enamel. This is due to the sugars and acids in the plaque, and it reacts differently with each person. Some people are fortunate and can go 40 years or more without a single issue. Others develop multiple cavities before they’re 40. Cavities that go untreated end up causing the tooth to decay beyond repair and it has to be pulled.
- Gum Disease: Also referred to as periodontitis, this is a severe infection of the gums. It damages the tissue that supports your teeth and leads to deterioration of the bone and tooth loss. The signs are painful inflammation, bleeding, and chronic bad breath (halitosis). Typically, it’s caused by bad oral hygiene. However, other conditions can increase the risk such as diabetes, pregnancy, stress, and genes. This is usually the cause of tooth loss in elderly patients.
- Dental Trauma: Dental trauma is typically associated with younger patients involved in various physical activities. These activities are when most accidents occur and deal damage to the facial area. Activities such as contact sports, skateboarding mishaps, and daredevil stunts that teens are more likely to attempt, are the main culprit.
Given that most of the reasons for tooth loss are easily preventable to some degree, you’d think people would take immediate action to replace missing teeth. However, the lack of action is likely due to people not realizing the serious consequences of not replacing the missing teeth.
When You Don’t Replace A Tooth, You’re Risking Alot
So, you’ve lost a tooth or multiple teeth. What’s the next move once your natural tooth has been pulled or fallen out?
There’s only one right answer—replace your tooth as soon as possible. Why? Well, there’s a laundry list of reasons as to why you need to replace a tooth ASAP, so let us just cover the big ones:
- Missing teeth significantly impacts overall health
- Tooth loss can cause surrounding jawbone matter to erode
- Missing teeth changes the shape of your face and smile
- The longer you delay treatment the more expensive and difficult it is to correct
Missing teeth makes a huge impact on your overall health
Depending on which teeth you have lost, it can make chewing many foods nearly impossible. Not only does this emotionally wreak havoc, but it can also cause biological problems.
When you can’t chew food properly it can impede the breakdown of nutrients preventing them from being absorbed into the bloodstream. This creates deficiencies in important nutrients such as iron, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, and others.
The emotional aspect of your health also takes a toll because people with missing teeth tend to lose a sense of self. They become self-conscious of how they look, speak, and eat due to altered mechanics of the mouth. Often, patients suffering from tooth loss, do so in silence and rarely smile.
Missing teeth can cause the surrounding bone to disintegrate
When you lose a tooth, it no longer stimulates the jawbone. This is a crucial activity because as your natural teeth exert pressure it slowly wears away bone matter. However, your teeth stimulate the jawbone to extract minerals from the blood to replace bone matter.
However, without the tooth stimulating the jawbone, it no longer knows it needs to make more bone matter. Instead, it just continues to erode. Over time, this leads to a complete compromise of the jawbone. That can also cause shifting of the teeth and serious bite alignment issues. This also weakens the remaining teeth leaving them susceptible to fracture and other damage.
Missing teeth changes the appearance of your smile and facial features
When patients suffering tooth loss in Corpus Christi fail to replace the tooth, they end up with severe jawbone deterioration. This deterioration of your jawbone will eventually cause your face to look sunken around your mouth. This look can make someone who is 35 look as old as 60 and can happen over time or quite rapidly—everyone is different.
The longer you wait to replace, the more expensive and hard it is to fix
If the thought of replacing one or more teeth seems too expensive—consider the alternative. You can just wait until you have no choice and the process ends up costing much more. Why? Because replacement depends on sufficient bone matter. If your jawbone has been deteriorating for 10 yrs, replacement might not be an option, at least not an affordable or easy one.
Without sufficient bone matter, placing dental implants becomes either impossible or very costly with added procedures. We’re talking bone grafts and other advanced healing solutions. Bottom line, the longer you wait to address tooth loss in Corpus, the lower your chances of success are.
Dental Implants—The Only Right Way To Replace A Tooth
Dental implants are the only true and permanent fix for those dealing with tooth loss. It mimics a natural tooth in form, function, and feel. Most importantly, it stimulates and preserves your jawbone.
At Vela Dental Center we take pride in how smooth and painless our dental implant procedures are. If you’re suffering from tooth loss in Corpus, call us and schedule your free smile consultation!