Your teeth do more than help you smile
Not having all your teeth in place can negatively affect your general health, your appearance, and self-esteem. In fact, every single tooth in your mouth has an important role to play. Even one missing tooth can create some serious consequences for you.
Effects on jawbone and gums
When all of your teeth are present, they work together while you chew, producing micro-movements that stimulate your jawbone and gums, keeping them healthy in the process. When one or more teeth are missing, this natural process is inhibited and your jaw begins to lose bone and your gums may shrink. Missing teeth also allow neighboring teeth to migrate into the open spaces left behind. Teeth in the opposing jaw can also move in an attempt to fill the gap.
Even a single missing tooth can allow remaining teeth to shift and grow into the gap. The greater the number of missing teeth in your mouth, the greater the impact these effects can have. And, over time, replacing them can become more challenging.
Effects on your appearance
When teeth and bone in the jaw are missing, they no longer support vital facial structures. Over time, progressive bone loss can create changes in facial structure, increasing wrinkles, which can make you look older. Your cheeks and lips are left without necessary support and begin to sag and appear hollow. To avoid these consequences, speak to your dentist about your missing or damaged teeth. With the help of modern dentistry, your missing teeth – even entire rows of teeth – can be replaced with a secure, or “fixed,” restoration that looks and functions naturally. Replacing your missing teeth will not only revitalize your eating, speaking, and smiling abilities, but it will also help avoid dramatic physical changes.