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How One Lost Tooth can Damage your Mouth

Posted on 6/20/2015 by Dr. Dennison
A man with a damaged smile from missing a tooth.You might think that if you lose one tooth for any reason, that you have nothing to worry about. It happens, right? People have teeth extracted because of excessive decay, trauma, and gum disease. If it is just one tooth, there is no harm, right? The answer is that there is actually a reason to worry. One tooth missing can wreak havoc on the rest of your mouth - think of it as a chain reaction.

Where is the Lost Tooth?

The area that the lost tooth originated will play a role in the subsequent destruction that occurs in your mouth. For example, if it is a front tooth, you will not only have a missing tooth, but you will likely suffer embarrassment, social isolation, difficulty smiling and chewing, and eventually have teeth that completely shift in your mouth. If the tooth is a back tooth, you will not suffer the same embarrassment as it will be harder for anyone to tell, but you will suffer serious issues as a result because your back molars work together. The top molar in your mouth will work together with the corresponding molar on the bottom. If that bottom molar is missing, the top molar now has nothing to do. This will cause the tooth to be unused, which eventually causes it to become longer, which poses its own risks in the long run.

Crooked Teeth

Once one tooth is missing, the other teeth in your mouth naturally gravitate toward that open space. Some teeth might completely shift over, putting your bite out of alignment, while others will tilt, making your smile less pleasing. This stimulates a chain reaction throughout your mouth, causing all of your teeth to shift over time, which can wreak havoc on your bite, smile, and self-confidence.

Gum Disease

As your teeth shift, pockets can begin to form in the gums. This is a result of teeth not being where they belong and excessive tissue being available. As the pockets form, bacteria has somewhere to hide. This bacteria is what causes gum disease. The larger the pockets, the more bacteria that can hide and the more advanced the gum disease becomes. The end result of gum disease is typically bone loss as well as more tooth loss.

Replace Missing Teeth

You have several options when it comes to replacing that one missing tooth that you though did not have any impact on your mouth. The most beneficial replacement is a dental implant as this is the only replacement that mimics a real tooth. The dental implant has a "root" that attaches to your jawbone and stimulates it to continue to grow. The implant looks and acts like your real tooth which means your other teeth will not shift, become tilted, or put you at risk for gum disease. A few other options that are not as beneficial as implants, but will hold the place of that missing tooth include a dental bridge or partial dentures.

If you are missing a tooth, come see us so that we can discuss your options. If you are a candidate for a dental implant, you will have the greatest success in keeping your mouth in order. The dental implant is treated just like your regular teeth, which means you keep the same oral hygiene habits; are able to have the same diet; and are able to talk and smile with ease. The key factor here is that you do not ignore a missing tooth as the destruction that follows could provide you with dental health issues for the rest of your life.

Are you missing a tooth? Please call us today for an appointment!
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Dental Implant Periodontist Houston, TX • Dental Blog
Read our Dental Blog! David K. Dennison, DDS, has served the Houston area for more than 18 years providing outstanding dental care for his patients. (832) 975-0990
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