There Is No "One Key" To Great Dental Health

3 Dangers Of NOT Replacing Lost Teeth

Whether lost due to an injury or an underlying dental issue, missing one or more teeth can affect more than just your appearance. If you are one of the 120 million people in the United States that are missing at least one tooth, understanding the dangers to your smile and well-being is smart. This guide and your dentist's help will teach you a few risks of NOT replacing your lost teeth.

Movement of Teeth

You may have lost a tooth in the back or side of your mouth, which may not seem like a big problem. However, even the loss of teeth that were not located in the front of your smile can lead to complications.

Over time, the space that develops after the loss of a tooth will cause surrounding teeth to shift. This movement of the teeth occurs in an attempt to fill the space left behind by the missing tooth.

As the shifting of surrounding teeth continues to occur over time, you may develop gaps in your smile. These gaps may or may not be noticeable, but they will affect your ability to eat, chew, and speak properly.

Tooth Decay/Gum Disease

If you do not replace the teeth that were lost due to injury or a dental condition, the open space of gum tissue and underlying roots will become more susceptible to food particles and bacteria.

The buildup of food residue and bacteria will affect adjacent teeth and the opened gum tissue, increasing your risk of decay and gum disease. Both of these dental issues can lead to the loss of even more teeth without proper dental services.

TMJ Disorder

Another surprising risk of NOT replacing a tooth that you lost is the development of TMJ disorder. This disorder causes pain, stiffness, popping, and cracking of the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that allows you to open and close your mouth.

Of course, you may be wondering how a missing tooth can lead to TMJ disorder.

Most individuals who are missing teeth will struggle to chew evenly, chewing more prominently on one side of the mouth. This leads to stiffness and discomfort in the jaw joint, which leads to the pain, popping, and inability to open and close the mouth properly.

One or more missing teeth may not seem like a big issue, but not replacing these lost teeth can lead to many dental complications. Talk to your dentist today about implants or dentures if you are missing one or more teeth.