According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australian adults are missing an average of 4.5 teeth. The older someone is, the fewer teeth they seem to have. It might appear normal or natural to have missing teeth, but when a dentist can ensure that you have a full set, why would you ever choose to have less?
Not only do aesthetics come into play, but so too does your oral health. Read on to learn why you shouldn’t ignore a missing tooth. The sooner you can see your dentist, the better it will be for your overall health.
Gum Disease Risk
Your mouth is a warm, wet place and, as such, is a breeding ground for bacteria. When you lose a tooth, a wound remains in your gum tissue. Therefore, you are at a higher risk of infection with a missing tooth, than if that tooth remained in place.
Gum infections are painful and inconvenient, but they can also lead to gum disease. Gum disease causes your gum tissue to recede, which can even lead to further tooth loss.
You may be astonished to learn that gum disease is not an isolated problem. It has been linked to diabetes and heart disease, among other severe conditions. So, if you lose a tooth, it’s in your best interest to see a dentist and plan your next move.
Bone Mass Loss
When you lose a tooth, you might think that’s all you’re losing. In fact, the loss of a tooth can kickstart bone mass loss in your jaw, as well. The stimulation of your teeth moving in your mouth is what keeps your bone mass and shape.
With the loss of a tooth, your jaw is no longer getting that much-needed stimulation. The result of that is less mass, which can change the shape of your face and cause jaw instability. One lost tooth can end up leading to more lost teeth.
You might pride yourself on having straight teeth, but as soon as you lose one, that can all change. Your teeth fit perfectly in your mouth side by side, and when one tooth disappears – be it through extraction or an accident, the rest jump into action to try and fill the gap. As the two neighbouring teeth move into position, the rest follow.
Misalignment can cause significant problems from a cosmetic standpoint, but it can also take a toll on your wellbeing. Jaw pain and headaches are a common side effect of teeth that are starting to become misaligned.
What Can You Do About Missing Teeth?
Your local dentist is pleased to be able to offer a whole host of different options to take care of your missing teeth. If you’ve had your tooth extracted, or you’ve lost it through an injury or accident, then make an appointment to find out what your dentist recommends.
Dental implants are a popular option and consist of a titanium root with an artificial tooth placed on top. They function as your natural teeth do, and are a permanent addition to your mouth. For significant tooth loss, your dentist may also recommend dentures or multiple dental implants.
In as little as a year, a missing tooth can have a detrimental impact on your oral health. As soon as you lose a tooth, make an appointment with your dentist without delay. They will be more than happy to walk you through your options.