Many patients think that missing teeth that aren’t visible when they smile don’t need to be replaced, but tooth replacement is about much more than just the way your smile appears. There are a number of oral health concerns that can arise when patients neglect to replace even a single missing tooth. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the many ways that foregoing tooth replacement can adversely affect your oral health.
One of the most common oral health issues that arise when patients don’t replace missing teeth is dental drift. The teeth around the lost tooth shift out of position to fill the gaps in patients’ smiles.
Super eruption can happen when the tooth opposite shifts downward to fill the gap left by missing teeth. Overtime, the tooth can shift so far down that there is not enough supportive structure to hold the super erupted tooth in position, which can lead to additional tooth loss.
Diminished Bone Density & Gum Tissue Volume
One negative effect of tooth loss that patients may not always consider is the loss of jawbone density and gum tissue volume. The roots of teeth provide stimulation to these supportive structures, keeping them healthy and functional. Without this stimulation, the body begins to redirect nutrients to other parts of the body, and the supportive bone and soft tissue is diminished. When the missing tooth is left unreplaced, this can lead to loss of surrounding teeth.
Changes in Function
When you’re missing a single tooth, it can become more difficult to thoroughly chew foods. It can also change the way teeth fit together placing excessive strain on surrounding teeth that can lead to excessive wear, cracks, and breaks in the tooth. Additionally, patients may experience strain to the joints that connect the jaw and skull bones commonly referred to as TMJ dysfunction.
Meet Dr. Neslund
Carlisle dentist, Thomas Neslund, DMD, has the advanced training and skill to provide traditional tooth replacement options like dental bridges, partials, and full dentures. Dr. Neslund and the Carlisle Family & Cosmetic Dentistry team also offer dental implant supported tooth replacement. These dental implant posts mimic the lost roots of missing teeth, recreating a close to natural end result. If you want to learn more about how our team can help replace a single tooth or a full row of teeth, call to schedule a tooth replacement consultation with us today. We’ll help you review your treatment options and restore your smile.