According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 120 million Americans are missing one or more teeth. That’s a staggering number that's continually rising. Tooth loss can happen due to mouth or jaw injury, gum disease, oral cancer, among others. Regardless of the reason behind your missing teeth, there are short- and long-term consequences that range from medical and cosmetic problems.
1: Bone Loss
Your jaw bone relies on the pressure and stimulation from chewing. When you lose a tooth, that area of your jaw no longer has that weight bearing down on the bone. One missing tooth for just one year can cause up to 25 percent bone recession.
2: Sunken Facial Shape & Impaired Smile
As your jaw bone loses density, your face will change shape. Your facial profile will look sunken, which will, in turn, make you appear older. If the tooth you lost is one which shows when you smile, you may be embarrassed about showing your teeth.
3: Difficulty Chewing Food
One or more missing teeth alters the way you chew food, which can cause TMJ-related problems. Your temporomandibular joints are what connects each side of your jaw to your skull. Jaw misalignment can occur due to the changes in the way you eat and chew food, leading to a host of TMJ Disorder symptoms.
4: Speaking Problems
The missing tooth will affect your speech, causing you to slur certain words and develop a lisp. That can cause significant embarrassment and prevent you from public speaking or talking during a meeting or social gathering.
5: Psychological Impacts of Tooth Loss
Missing teeth impact every area of your life, and that includes your confidence and self-esteem. You may avoid hanging out with friends, going on dates, or pursuing more responsibilities in your career.
6: Shifting Teeth & More Tooth Loss
Your remaining teeth will start to shift to fill the gap left by the missing tooth. That reverses any previous orthodontic work and may also lead to a TMJ disorder, but more so, it puts the rest of your teeth in danger. One missing tooth often leads to a domino effect of further tooth loss.
How to Replace Missing Teeth
The best way to replace a missing tooth is with a dental implant. If you’re missing more than one tooth, implant-supported dentures may be the right restorative dentistry option for you. Dental implants look and act like your natural teeth and involve three parts:
- A titanium post implanted in your jaw bone to replace the missing tooth root.
- An abutment that connects the new tooth to the post.
- A dental crown created to match the shade of your remaining teeth.
Contact Our Dental Implant Specialist in Brighton
If you’re missing one or more teeth, it’s critical that you act fast. Contact our restorative dentist in Brighton, Colorado today at 303-558-6537 to learn more about dental implants and schedule your exam. Bromley Park Dental serves patients in surrounding areas of Brighton including Thornton, Fort Lupton, and Commerce City.