May 22, 2019
You may be surprised to learn that missing teeth are not unusual; according to the American Dental Association, the average adult between ages 20 and 64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth. If you’re in this group, you’ve probably experienced on how a gap in your smile can affect your self-confidence. But most importantly, there can be serious negative effects on your health. Here’s what could happen if your missing teeth aren’t replaced – and how dentures or dental implants in Skokie can help you stay well.
How Missing Teeth Can Affect Your Jaw
Your teeth help your jawbone keep its form, strength and density through chewing and biting; it’s similar to how your muscles stay strong through exercise. When teeth are missing, the lack of stimulation causes the bone to become weaker and less dense. Eventually, this loss of bone can change the shape of your jaw, and it can result in you looking much older.
How a Missing Tooth Can Affect Your Remaining Teeth
As anyone who’s had braces knows, the position of your teeth is something that can change. When a tooth is missing, the surrounding pearly-whites will shift into the open space. Your other teeth will shift as a result, becoming crooked. This isn’t just a cosmetic problem; not only can crooked teeth make chewing and talking more difficult, but the unusual pressure can lead to fracturing.
How Missing Teeth Can Affect Your Gums
You’ve probably heard that gum disease causes tooth loss, but did you know it can be the other way around as well? A gap gives bacteria a place to hide, and it can be hard to keep this area clean, especially after your teeth shift. If it becomes infected, it will spread to the rest of your gums and nearby teeth, causing advanced gum disease as well as tooth decay. In other words, if you lose a tooth, the damage to your mouth could lead to losing more teeth.
How Can The Dentist Help?
Fortunately, there are several options for addressing tooth loss. One method is dental implants; these are posts anchored in your jaw and topped with a crown. The posts help make sure your jawbone still receives stimulation, thus reducing bone loss. In addition, implants provide chewing power almost equal to that of regular teeth, and they look and feel natural.
Dentures in Skokie are another possible solution. These may include complete dentures for the entire mouth or partial dentures for cases where only a few teeth are missing. While traditional dentures can allow you to speak and chew better, they don’t prevent bone loss; fortunately, some dentures can be secured in the mouth by implants, which can help the jawbone retain its shape. As a bonus, implant-secured dentures won’t slip out of place.
When you lose a tooth – whether it’s due to an accident or another oral health problem – time is of the essence. Speak with your dentist in Skokie as soon as possible and learn what tooth replacement options are available; the best one for you may depend on your budget and lifestyle. Don’t let the gap in your mouth grow into an even bigger problem.
About the Author
At North Shore Family Dentistry, Dr. Schwartz strives to provide clinical excellence in every aspect of patient care for families. Dr. Schwartz has over 25 years of dental experience and helps provide solutions for missing teeth. To learn more about dentures, dental implants, and other restorative dentistry options, visit his website or call (972) 235-3675.
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