It’s easy for patients to seek restorative dentistry when a tooth goes missing in the front of their smile. However, missing teeth can compromise a lot more than just aesthetics. In fact, a single missing tooth can impact your overall health. Here are some leading reasons why you need to replace a missing tooth – even if it is in the very back of your mouth.
One of the most predictable drawbacks of a missing tooth is limited function. Our teeth are primarily used to chew and eat. That back molar that was lost will be greatly missed when chewing proteins and fibrous fruits and vegetables. While you will probably be able to get the job done, it may cause excess wear on one side of your mouth over time, which can affect the opposing teeth and jaw joint.
Risk of Diseased Gums, Decay and Jaw Problems
It only takes one gap in your smile to cause the adjacent teeth to shift or migrate into the open space. This leads to misalignment within your smile, which can make it more difficult to keep your teeth and gums clean. Beyond cavities and periodontal disease, you may also experience discomfort and inflammation within your jaw joint (TMJ) due to your misaligned bite.
We know that oral health is closely linked with body health. The infections and bacteria that linger in your mouth can impact other major systems in your body, including your heart! That single missing molar that you thought was harmless in the back of your mouth can become a serious threat to your whole-body health in some cases.
Aged Facial Structure
A full set of teeth also supports the jaw and lips. When teeth are absent, your facial structure can change for the worse. You may notice sagging lips or hallowing of your lower face. When there is not a full set of tooth roots to stimulate your jaw, it can lose density and form over time. Dental implants are the only way to prevent bone loss that occurs with missing teeth.
At Gilreath Family Dentistry, we welcome the opportunity to discuss your options in teeth replacement. Our menu of restorative dentistry services includes the gold standard solution of dental implants. Call today to book your consult and complete your smile!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,