Whether due to dental procedures, injury or gum disease, tooth loss in adults is more common than you may think. While you may think that the worst part about losing a tooth is the gap it leaves in your smile, the consequences can be far worse. Whatever the reason for your tooth loss, it’s important to replace missing teeth as soon as possible. Here are some common side effects of missing teeth and what could happen if you put off replacing them.
Teeth are essential to supporting our face and jaw’s overall structure. Just like muscles, our jawbones can become weak and shrink when not used. Losing one or more teeth is similar to stopping exercise – once teeth stop stimulating your jawbone, it tends to weaken and shrink. This results in eventual bone loss around an area where teeth are missing, which could weaken the surrounding teeth and cause further tooth loss.
As your jawbone shrinks due to bone loss after losing a tooth, the surrounding natural teeth will slowly begin to move in to fill the gap left by the missing tooth. Over time, other teeth will gradually begin to shift into the gaps caused by other shifting teeth which, in turn, causes several issues including crooked teeth. Apart from affecting your smile and possibly your confidence, crooked teeth can make eating more difficult. Moreover, the uneven pressure created by crooked teeth can make the surrounding teeth more vulnerable to damage.
Increased Risk of Temporomandibular Muscular Joint and Muscular Disorder
Bone loss and shifting teeth can eventually lead to temporomandibular joint and muscular disorder, otherwise known as TMJ or TMJ. As your teeth and jawline begin to shift and your remaining teeth begin filling the gaps left by missing teeth, your upper and lower jaw may stop fitting together properly. Not only does this affect your bite, but it also increases strain on your joints and muscles, which can result in TMJ. TMJ is an extremely painful condition with a range of symptoms including a limited range of jaw motion, headaches, and earaches.
Increased Risk of Gum Disease
Food particles sticking in the gaps created by missing teeth make for the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. While the solution may seem as trivial as keeping the area clean, it’s not that simple and bacteria can still flourish in even the smallest of spaces. This increases your risk of developing cavities and gum disease like periodontal disease. If left untreated, periodontal disease can eventually lead to further tooth and bone loss, and even serious health issues like heart disease.
Replace Missing Teeth in Calgary
The best way to avoid the effects of missing teeth is to replace them as soon as possible. Whether you opt for dentures or dental implants, replacing missing teeth is essential to prevent the above issues. If you’re in the Calgary area and wondering what your options are for replacing missing teeth, reach out to Hillhurst Denture Clinic today at 403-283-1272 or contact us online to book a free consultation with a professional denturist.