If you have a missing tooth that is not easily seen, you might be thinking about leaving it alone. As long s you don’t laugh with your mouth open, what’s the big deal…right? A missing tooth is more than just an eye sore though. There are physical and mental consequences you need to take into consideration. Let’s take a look at some of the problems that come with missing teeth, as well as treatment options you can explore.
Physical Side Effects of Missing Teeth
Here are some of the physical issues that may result from a missing tooth:
- Nearby teeth may start to shift into the open area. This may cause problems with your smile, your chewing, your speaking, and your facial structure as a whole.
- When teeth shift too much, they can create malocclusion. The most common forms of malocclusion are overbites and crossbites. This will make it difficult to chew, and it could create pain in the jaw or ears. Treatments for malocclusion include braces and dental surgery, both of which are far more expensive than tooth replacement.
- Missing teeth can weaken your jawbone. The bone gets strengthened by friction from tooth roots. If the roots aren’t there, the jaw may become weak in that area. That can cause your face to sag in a certain area, and it could lead to severe pain.
- A missing tooth can also cause you to not chew your food properly. This may be something you consciously do to avoid that area of your mouth, or you may do it subconsciously. Whatever the case may be, not chewing your food can cause problems with your digestive system and your health overall.
Mental Side Effects of Missing Teeth
In addition to the physical side effects of missing teeth, there are emotional side effects. Having a gap in your smile may make you feel insecure and self-conscious. You smile and laugh less because you don’t want your teeth to be on display. You might remove yourself from social settings or stay out of pictures because of your missing tooth. This can lead to depression and a slew of other mental health concerns. With a full smile, you can interact and talk with pure confidence.
Treatment Options for Missing Teeth
If you have a missing tooth, there are several treatment options to consider. Depending on where the tooth is or how many teeth are missing, you could get a custom crown or bridge. This will be attached to a dental implant and/or the teeth surrounding the gap. The artificial teeth will be colored and shaped to blend in with your smile, so no one will know you were ever missing a tooth.
Other options include partial dentures and veneers. Veneers are not ideal for everyone because they require part of the tooth to still be in place. If the tooth is missing entirely, you may need a different replacement option. You could also get a dental spacer to keep your remaining teeth in place. This will still leave a gap where the old tooth was, but it will prevent your other teeth from shifting out of place.
The best way to determine which tooth replacement is right for you is to come in for a consultation. A cosmetic dentist will look at your smile and explain your options for you. You can get a price quote and set up a payment arrangement that suits your budget. It all starts with a simple phone call to Redwood Dental. Reach out at (800) 462-2222 to see a cosmetic dentist near you.