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How Missing Teeth Affect Your Mouth

how missing teeth affect your mouth
Posted on: March 8th, 2023 by | No Comments

Losing a tooth may not seem like a big deal to some people, but missing teeth can affect your smile in several ways. They can even change the shape of your face and result in loss of bone in the jawline. And, of course, missing teeth may make it more difficult for you to bite into certain foods, chew food, or talk clearly.

Missing Teeth Affect Your Bite

The most obvious result of a missing tooth—besides leaving a gap in your smile—is that it affects how you bite and chew. When a front tooth comes out, it will be harder to bite into an apple or sandwich. Missing molars can make chewing meat more challenging. The gaps left by missing teeth may cause other teeth to move, which can result in crooked teeth or a misaligned bite.

Jawbone Can Deteriorate

One of the more serious side effects of losing a tooth is the potential loss of bone density in the jaw. Teeth are intricately linked to the jaw through the roots. Nerves and blood vessels connect to the jaw, and when those structures are gone, the jawbone can destabilize. Facial structure relies on the jawbone, and it can suffer from the loss of a tooth. A cheek can sink in after losing a molar, causing a lopsided change to the face or a permanent frown effect.

Replacing Missing Teeth

If you have a tooth that is giving you problems, it is best to address it as soon as possible. A root canal can save the tooth, which helps avoid the problems that losing a tooth can cause. Root canals are nothing more than a filling for the root. All the damaged nerves inside the tooth are eliminated so you no longer feel pain. Saving a tooth with a root canal avoids the potential difficulties of extraction. More importantly, it preserves the entire tooth and its root, which is beneficial for the jawbone and your facial structure.

If a permanent tooth must be extracted—for example, because of a deep crack—several options are available for replacement. The two main options are dentures and dental implants. Dentures restore your smile and make it easier to chew, but they will not last forever and must be removed and cleaned on a daily basis.

Dental implant surgery places a metal post in the jawbone, providing a permanent solution. A complete replacement tooth called a crown can then be attached to the metal post and never has to be removed. Depending on the patient, dental implants take 6 weeks to 3 months to attach to the jaw, then the crown can be attached. It is surgery, which isn’t right for everyone. If you’re considering dental implant surgery, talk to your doctor and dentist about health issues that may affect your ability to heal.

Regular dental care helps avoid losing teeth and needing a tooth extraction. If you, a family member, or a friend has a toothache or breaks a tooth, Uptown Dental is here for your dental emergencies. Contact our Marion, Iowa dental office to become a patient.