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Should I Worry About My Missing Tooth?

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All teeth are important. Besides chewing and grinding up food, speaking and smiling, they play a very important role in the structure of the mouth, and thus it is important to keep them healthy.
Losing teeth is a common phenomenon.

In fact, it is a healthy part of development when one is young. However, once your permanent teeth set in as an adult, any gap in your mouth may be a cause of alarm.
Tooth loss can occur as a result of several issues, including tooth decay, gum disease, injury or a genetic condition.

What if I ignore the situation?

Regardless of the underlying cause, having a missing tooth (whether at the front or back of your mouth) can have serious consequences in your life. Some of them include;
•    Crooked/shifted teeth: Usually, your teeth support each other. Therefore, if one is missing, it means that the teeth on either sides would definitely start shifting into the gap. If left uncorrected over time, this can lead to problems in biting and joint pains, among other problems.
•    Gum disease and tooth decay: Once your teeth have shifted or are crooked, you may not be able to reach all their surfaces whenever brushing or flossing. This increases the chances of development of dental diseases like gum disease and tooth decay, which can eventually cause further loss of teeth. Besides, it is quite easy for bacteria to settle in the gaps, which also contributes to gum disease.
•    Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) disorders: The TMJ is the joint between the lower and upper jaw located just in-front of the ears. It plays a key role during chewing and whenever teeth shift out of their positions, these joints become strained, leading to a lot of physical pain and discomfort.
•    Jawbone resorption: Teeth provide support to the jaw by stimulating the growth of the bone. If one or more teeth are missing, this causes the jaw to shrink/deteriorate. Besides, the loss does not only impact the missing tooth/teeth, it puts you at a higher risk of losing the neighbouring teeth, eventually altering the facial appearance. For instance, if the missing tooth is not replaced, you may find out that your face changes (appears older and wrinkly), and cheeks may become hollow and saggy as time passes by.
•    Supra-eruption of opposing teeth: If the missing tooth is not replaced, the immediate one does not have any opposing tooth to limit its growth, and it can therefore extend further than its normal length.  This can cause serious problems- for instance, closing your mouth may be very stressful.
•    Change of diet: Missing teeth can easily make it difficult for you to eat certain foods, which could limit your diet, affecting your general health.
•    Speech issues: Teeth play an important role in speech. Missing a tooth or even having gaps between your teeth can make it difficult to pronounce certain words. For instance, you may find yourself whistling or slurring whenever speaking, which can be embarrassing and may affect your self-confidence.
•    Reduced self-esteem: While one may not see the effect from outside, this is one of the most intangible effect of missing a tooth.  For instance, if you notice that the space from the missing tooth can be seen whenever you smile or speak, you may start avoiding smiling or speaking in public, which can significantly impact your  social life. Worse still, if gum disease develops due to the missing tooth, you may start having bad breath.

Are there solutions for missing teeth problems?

Absolutely! Your dentist can help you choose the best treatment option. Below are some of the commonly used tooth replacement options.
•    Dental implants:  A dental implant is considered the most favorable solution. It is inserted into the jaw to act like the root of a tooth and then covered with a crown that is usually designed to blend in with your natural teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or a full set of teeth, regardless of the where the gap is. They are secure, long-lasting, not easily damaged and also help preserve your jawbone because the titanium used for the implant fuses naturally with the jawbone.
•    Dental bridges: Bridges are fixed artificial teeth which look and feels like your natural teeth and are supported by the adjacent teeth by use of a strong bonding cement. If good oral hygiene is ensured, a dental bridge can last for many years. However, it does not support growth of a new bone like the dental implant and does not allow flossing between bonded teeth.
•    Partial dentures: These are removable false teeth designed to resemble your natural teeth. The base is designed to match the shade of your gums while the teeth, the shade of your natural teeth. Like the dental bridges, dentures do not support growth of a new bone.

You do not have to live with any physical or emotional discomfort of missing teeth anymore! Call us on 0716 521043 or Book an Appointment Online Now!

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