You may be tempted to leave the gap in your mouth alone, especially if the tooth was in the back of your mouth and can’t be seen as easily as a front tooth. You wouldn’t be the only one; many folks have chosen to ignore tooth loss. Some leave it be, others get a bridge, and still others who have lost many teeth may opt for a denture.
The problem is that losing a tooth comes with a myriad of implications that you might not think (or even know) about right now.
- Proper dental hygiene. It can be hard to keep the space between teeth clean, especially if the spot is tender. Food can easily get trapped, flossing becomes harder, and brushing may not completely clean the area. This can lead to bad breath (halitosis), gum disease, and a host of oral health issues.
- Discomfort. There’s a reason that babies don’t chew their food until they have teeth. Chewing on raw gums is downright uncomfortable. Because of this, many dental patients end up only eating on one side of their mouth or avoiding certain foods. Not only is this inconvenient, but it can even cause nutritional deficits.
- Bone loss and altered face shape. When a tooth is lost, the jaw can atrophy over time. Eventually and especially with multiple tooth loss, the face can actually take on a sagging appearance, even with a bridge or denture.
- Further tooth loss. This can happen for several reasons. Because maintaining oral hygiene is more difficult with gaps in your mouth, gum disease can result and eventually end up in tooth loss. Teeth can also be harmed by receiving a bridge. When a bridge is placed, the adjacent teeth have to be prepped by having some enamel removed and being reshaped to allow room for the bridge appliance. This damage can sometimes lead to tooth loss as well.
The truth is, with modern technology such as dental implants and implant-anchored dentures, the domino effect of tooth loss can be curbed. Implants are easy to clean and just as strong and comfortable as natural teeth. They help you keep your jaw bone nice and strong, and help you avoid losing any more teeth.
Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option out there, and many of our Crown Council dentists specialize in placing and restoring dental implants. Use our Crown Council dentist finder tool to find a dental implant specialist near you. Scheduling a consultation is the first step to learning about the implant options available to you and getting on your way to a healthy and beautiful smile!