Hidden Consequences of Missing Teeth
Missing teeth can create more than just a gap in your smile. In addition to affecting speech and the ability to chew food, missing teeth can lead to problematic oral health complications that you may not be aware of. The more teeth you are missing, the more severe these issues can become, so it is important to seek the help of an experienced restorative and cosmetic dentist, like Wayde Fawcett, DDS, to replace teeth as soon as possible. Dr. Fawcett is highly skilled in a wide range of state-of-the-art tooth replacement procedures, as well as periodontal treatments and full mouth rehabilitation—all of which can restore the health, function, alignment, and appearance of your smile. Every treatment plan is customized to suit your dental needs, budget, and goals to give you a confident, long-lasting smile.
Consequences of tooth loss can include:
- Shifting Teeth & Changes in Tooth and Bite Alignment – When a gap is left behind by a missing tooth or several missing teeth, the teeth surrounding the gap(s) can shift. This movement can create uneven spacing between teeth and affect tooth alignment, as well as shift the alignment of the bite. In addition to affecting the appearance of your smile, these changes in tooth positioning can also lead to jaw discomfort and tooth damage. To help prevent teeth from shifting after tooth loss, Dr. Fawcett can place a dental bridge or dental implants that can help maintain the position of your remaining teeth, as well as provide several other important cosmetic and reconstructive benefits.
- Jawbone Recession – When a tooth is removed or falls out, the area of jawbone the tooth was situated in can begin to recede over time. Recession occurs because the tooth root is no longer stimulating the bone tissue, which initiates the natural process that allows the bone mass to maintain itself. If the socket is not filled with a bone graft and/or eventually replaced with a dental implant, recession can continue to progress and can erode the supportive bone of the surrounding teeth. In extreme cases, adjacent teeth can then become loose and fall out due to lack of bone support.
- Periodontal Health Concerns – A variety of periodontal issues can arise as the result of missing teeth, including gum recession and periodontal disease. As jawbone tissue recedes, protective and supportive gingival (gum) tissue can recede as well, exposing the roots of adjacent teeth and making them vulnerable to decay and eventual loss. Gum disease may also develop for a variety of reasons. If left untreated, periodontal disease can have severe effects on oral and overall health. If you are noticing signs of gum recession, inflammation, bleeding, or other indicators of infection, Dr. Fawcett can perform a variety of periodontal treatments aimed at eliminating infection and restoring gum health. Often these treatments are performed in conjunction with tooth replacement procedures to achieve optimum health and protect the longevity of both natural teeth and any restorative work.
If you are concerned about the oral health consequences of missing teeth, we welcome you to contact our practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. Fawcett.