Are you missing a tooth or teeth and concerned about the effect it could have on your long-term health? You’re not alone. Missing teeth is a common problem that affects adults from all walks of life. Keep reading to learn more about the causes, effects, and treatment options for missing teeth.
What causes missing teeth?
- Injury – whether the result of a car accident, sports mishap, or wear and tear, any type of trauma to the jaw and mouth can result in loose or missing teeth.
- Tooth decay – tooth decay occurs when plaque builds up on one or more of your teeth. If left untreated, your tooth will begin to decay and may eventually be lost
- Gum disease – like tooth decay, gum disease usually occurs due to a buildup of plaque. In these cases, the decay spreads toward the gumline, resulting in a number of health complications, including missing teeth.
- Genetics – in some cases, missing teeth can be the result of a congenital condition.
How missing teeth can impact your health and happiness
The well-being of your teeth, jaw, and gums are intertwined.
When you lose a tooth, it impacts essential functions that keep your jaw healthy and strong, leading to the deterioration of the bone and jaw pain.
This impact to the bone can change your overall facial structure, causing a “sunken-in” and prematurely aged esthetic, as well as an even greater risk of associated health concerns.
When you lose a tooth, it leaves your gums vulnerable to bacteria that lead to periodontal disease. It can also make eating and talking significantly more difficult. You may experience affected speech patterns which can be both physically uncomfortable and cause you to become self-conscious.
While dentists talk a lot about your physical well-being related to your teeth, it’s no secret that the state of your smile can also have a major impact on your mental health as well. Missing teeth can take a significant toll on your confidence, impact your desire to socialize, and seriously harm your overall self-image.
How we address missing teeth
There are some cases, particularly for those with narrow jaws, when the remaining teeth will naturally shift into place to account for the gap.
If this occurs naturally and smoothly, dental treatment isn’t always necessary. However, this process should always be monitored closely by a dentist since the teeth can easily become misaligned, leading to a crooked smile and putting your remaining teeth at greater risk of decay.
In the vast majority of cases, a dental implant is the most effective way to address a missing tooth. At Austin Dental, we offer high-quality dental implants that are permanent, look completely natural, and function just like natural teeth!
How to prevent tooth loss
No one wants to suffer the mental and physical consequences of missing teeth. Luckily, there are several preventative steps you can take:
- Get regular exams – visiting your dentist twice a year for regular exams is one of the best ways to keep your teeth and gums in top shape and catch any potential problems.
- Practice proper dental hygiene at home – brushing and flossing daily is the most effective way of maintaining oral health.
- Eat a healthy diet – eating a balanced diet and limiting foods that are high in sugar and refined carbs helps to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
- Keep your other health conditions in check – chronic conditions, such as diabetes, can affect your dental health.
- Avoid smoking and vaping – even without nicotine, smoking and vaping can cause gum disease.
Schedule your appointment today!
Are you missing teeth?
At Austin Dental, our experienced and compassionate team is ready to fix your missing teeth in-house, without the need for a referral. Our dentists have undergone extensive training in aesthetics, implants, oral surgery, sedation dentistry, and more.