If you’re missing a tooth, especially one that’s not very noticeable, you might be thinking you can get away without replacing it. You might feel like the gap in your tooth is something you can get used to over time. However, not replacing a missing tooth can actually have some serious side effects, both physically and mentally. Replacing it is not as difficult as you might think, so you should definitely reconsider if you’ve decided not to.
One of the first consequences of leaving your missing tooth untreated is the effect it will have on the tooth around the area. Over time, the teeth that were around your missing tooth will start to shift towards each other, in order to fill in the empty space. This can lead to a condition known as malocclusion, which means that your teeth are not properly aligned.
This condition can cause serious issues like overbites or crossbites. In turn, these conditions can cause extra strain on your jaw, difficulty chewing and even increase your risk for tooth decay. The treatment for these usually involve braces or even surgery, which is typically much more expensive than a simple tooth replacement.
Missing teeth makes it harder for your to chew your food properly, even if you don’t notice at first. Not chewing your food fully can lead to digestive problems like acid reflux and malnutrition, since your nutrients aren’t being properly absorbed. While it might seem like a tooth in the back of your mouth is ok to have missing, since it can’t be seen. However, your molars are incredibly important for proper chewing.
Missing teeth can also cause jaw issues such as bone loss, which can change the entire appearance of your mouth. The bone tissue isn’t getting the support it needs from the tooth, so it ends up weakening and sagging over time.
It can also have an effect on your psychological state. Missing teeth can make you feel insecure, which is something most people already deal with. Adding to self-consciousness low self-esteem or is never helpful or beneficial to your life.
One option for fixing your missing tooth is a dental implant. This involves placing a titanium base into your jaw, and securing a very realistic looking and feeling implant onto it. Over time, your jawbone will grow into your new implant, making the artificial tooth an actual part of your mouth. This procedure is a lot less difficult than you might expect, so there’s really no reason you shouldn’t consider having it done. Talk to your dentist about the options you have for replacing your missing tooth, even if you can’t see it.