A missing tooth is more than unsightly and embarrassing. It causes a domino effect that puts your entire wellbeing in danger. The longer you wait to replace that tooth, the more likely you are to lose more. Our Boulder dentist sees this all too often, so it’s important to understand how quickly a knocked-out tooth can alter your bite, facial shape, and impact your ability to chew and speak clearly.
Within one year of losing just a single tooth, you’ll experience these changes and more:
- 25% Loss of Jaw Bone Density: Your jaw relies on the constant pressure and strain from your teeth to maintain its integrity. Without that tooth, you’ll experience bone recession, which shrinks your jaw bone. Your face will change shape and appear sunken.
- Tooth Migration: Your remaining teeth will shift to fill the gap, which will reverse previous orthodontic work and leave you with a crooked smile. They will also be more susceptible to oral infections that lead to further tooth loss. The best way to maintain a straight, healthy smile is to replace the missing tooth with a dental implant. Shifting teeth and other symptoms can lead to painful TMJ disorders.
- Gum Recession: You’re also at a higher risk of gum disease (especially if that was the cause of your lost tooth) as your gum tissue recedes and pulls away from your remaining teeth. That creates pockets near the roots of your teeth where bacteria collect and breed.
- Changes to Your Overall Health: All of these changes to your mouth branch out to the rest of your body from chronic headaches to heart disease. While the missing tooth itself may not cause these issues, your increased likelihood of tooth decay and infection does. The bacteria and germs from your mouth can spread into your bloodstream and eventually, your heart, causing endocarditis. Untreated inflammation and deterioration are linked to strokes and clogged arteries as well as premature birth in pregnant women with gum disease.
What Causes Tooth Loss and How to Replace a Missing Tooth
The most common causes of tooth loss include gum disease, mouth or jaw injury, severe infection, and extremely poor oral health. You can decrease your chances of losing a tooth due to gum disease by brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day and flossing once a day. Your diet, lifestyle habits, and frequency of dental exams also play a crucial role in maintaining a full set of teeth.
Cosmetic and restorative dentistry offers a variety of ways to replace a missing tooth including dental bridges and dental implants. Dr. Adler often recommends dental implants (or implant-supported dentures for those multiple missing teeth) because they look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth.
Contact Adler Advanced Dentistry in Boulder About Dental Implants
If you’re missing one or more teeth, it’s crucial that you schedule an appointment with our implant dentist as soon as possible. Contact Dr. Adler in Boulder today at (303) 449-1119 to schedule your dental exam and consultation. We serve patients in nearby Colorado areas including Denver and Loveland.