Dangers of Tooth Loss and How to Resolve the Problem
Common Causes of Tooth Loss
The most common cause of tooth loss in adults across the globe is gum disease. It accounts for up to 70 percent of missing teeth. Because periodontitis damages gum tissues and destroys the jaw bone, it affects the ligaments supporting your teeth and makes teeth more likely to fall out. Untreated cavities, poor dental care, falls, or accidents can also lead to tooth loss. Beside these causes, inherited ailments like ectodermal dysplasia may also lead to loss of wisdom teeth and even prevent the growth of lateral incisors. This can cause biting issues that lead to nutritional deficiencies. It may even affect your jaw structure and create uneven spacing and large gaps in your teeth—which only a professional dentist can treat.
The importance of replacing missing teeth (and the dangers if you don’t).
If you’ve lost one or two teeth in the past, you know first hand the effect it has on your smile. However, tooth loss is more than just living with a “gappy” smile. It has far reaching consequences on your overall health, and when you wait too long to replace one, it can turn what would have been a simple crown into jaw complications, bite issues, or even bone loss. Remember that every bone in the human body works the same way. They only grow stronger when you use them. Once you stop, they slowly weaken. When that happens in your mouth, that area of the jawbone no longer benefits from the stimulation of the tooth root and, as a result, the bone starts to be reabsorbed, eventually changing the shape of your face and contributing to that “sunken in” look. Any malocussions may also create nooks and crannies for plaque to hide in. The end result is harmful bacterial growth that causes tooth decay and gum disease.
Advantages of different teeth-replacement options.
Now that you know how important replacing missing teeth is to not only restoring dental function but also protecting your oral health, it’s time to look at the advantages of some of the teeth replacement options we have here at Dallas Cosmetic Dental.
The procedure involves attaching artificial teeth to a dental bracket (the bridge) to cover a missing tooth or several missing teeth in the same place. Your dentist will use dental cement to attach the bridge to adjacent teeth, which can be healthy teeth with or without crowns or implants. Bridges blend well with your natural teeth so no one will know it’s even there. One disadvantage to bridges is that, in some rare cases, bacteria can accumulate around the restoration, which may lead to an infection. Regular visits to your dentist will ensure this doesn’t become an issue as your dentist is trained to identify issues like this early.
If you have several missing teeth that your dentist can’t correct with a bridge, partial dentures may be a better solution for you. Removable partial dentures consist of artificial teeth attached to a synthetic pink material supported by a metal bracket. Partial dentures can mimic your gum tissue, creating a natural-looking smile that’s also functional. It also works well in preserving the jaw bone and preventing adjacent teeth from shifting position and growing towards the gap. The only downside to this restoration is that not every patient is comfortable with the pink base in their mouth. Frequent removal and placement of the partial denture may also cause the artificial teeth to loosen and damage the appliance. If you experience issues like these, speak to your dentist so they can adjust the appliance and restore your comfort.
In cases of significant tooth loss, you may require an entire set of false teeth. That’s where dentures come in. Your dentist takes an oral impression of your mouth and custom fabricates artificial teeth that look (and function) just like the teeth you lost. Complete dentures can replace an entire row on either or both sides of the jaw. Dentures can rectify a sunken facial appearance and make you look more youthful and healthy. Unlike dental bridges and implants, you can still get dentures even if you don’t have a healthy jaw, teeth, or gums. While effective, removable dentures can become loose over time and may start making clicking noises whenever you move your jaw, which can cause some discomfort. This is why it’s important to have regular checkups with your dentist so they can adjust your dentures as needed to provide you with the optimal comfort and function.
A dental implant is a surgically placed titanium post that integrates into the jaw bone and creates an anchor for restorations like crowns, bridges, or dentures. With the right care, dental implants can last a lifetime. At Dallas Cosmetic Dental, we use Nobel Biocare implants, which provide our patients with esthetic excellence and maximum stability, even in compromised bone situations. Dental implants are the best tooth-replacement option available, but the treatment time is quite lengthy and requires periods of recovery between stages.
Missing teeth? Book a consultation today.
If you’ve lost, or are losing, your teeth, don’t wait too long to replace them. Not only will getting artificial teeth to fill the gap give you a beautiful, complete set of teeth, it will also restore normal mouth function and protect your overall health. There are several personal and medical factors to take into consideration when deciding what route to take regarding missing teeth. A qualified cosmetic dentist like Dr. Alhadef knows how to listen to your needs and help you pick the option that’s right for you. For more information about missing teeth replacement options, we invite you to book a consultation with us. Our team is happy to work with you to find a solution that fits your lifestyle.