For most people, missing teeth are little more than a cosmetic concern. They may feel self-conscious about exposing a gap where their tooth once was and avoid showing their teeth while smiling for this reason. However, having missing teeth and not replacing them with some type of prosthetic can cause issues that go far beyond your appearance.
Discomfort When Chewing and Speaking
You may have noticed that missing even a single tooth can make it difficult to chew normally and speak clearly. Your jaw can become sore when your remaining teeth need to work harder to tear apart and break down the food that you eat. Food can also become trapped on the gumline where you are missing a tooth, making it more likely that you will develop gum disease in the future.
The position of your teeth and tongue plays a big role in producing the sounds needed for legible speech. You could even start speaking with a lisp, making you avoid social situations out of embarrassment over the way you sound. Unfortunately, the problems associated with not replacing missing teeth do not stop there.
Loss of Bone Structure
When you lose a tooth and do not replace it, loss of bone in your jaw is the inevitable result. Bone loss occurs because the jaw no longer has a job to do holding your teeth in place. The bone within your jaw regenerates itself throughout the day after you subject it to hundreds of small interactions that cause repetitive stress. The loss of bone can be dramatic, and you could lose as much as 25 percent of the bone underneath your missing tooth in the first year alone.
As the years go by and you do not replace missing teeth, you will likely notice a difference in the appearance of your face. Your cheeks could become saggy and make it look like you have a perpetual frown even when you feel perfectly happy.
Another thing to consider with missing teeth is that they tend to shift towards the open spot on your jawline. The result is a misaligned bite and pain in the jaw joints. In severe cases, people with this oral health problem cannot chew raw fruits and vegetables due to the discomfort and suffer from nutritional deficiencies because of it.
ZircTeeth are a high-quality dental implant manufactured and installed by the dental team at one of ZircTeeth’s five locations. We recommend dental implants to most patients over other types of restorations because they replace missing teeth and bone while functioning just as your natural teeth do.
After your initial consultation, examination, and series of X-rays, the first step in receiving your new replacement teeth is for one of our dentists to install a titanium rod directly into your jawbone. You then wait for your jaw to heal and return to our dental practice to have the artificial tooth attached to it.