Beyond a Pretty Smile: The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth

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Beyond a Pretty Smile: The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth

About 120 million American adults are missing at least one tooth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. That’s about half of the adult population of the United States. The good news is, missing teeth can be replaced with durable, beautiful, natural-looking solutions aimed at helping your smile look its best.

At Tomase Dental Care in Toledo, Ohio, Timothy Tomase, DDS, and his team offer multiple solutions to help restore smiles after tooth loss, from single procedures to full mouth rehabilitation. In this post, learn why having missing teeth replaced is so important for your health and your wellbeing.

Additional tooth loss

When you lose a tooth, it sets off a “domino reaction” that can quickly lead to additional tooth loss. That’s because when a tooth is missing, the neighboring teeth can start to lean in toward the resulting gap, eventually weakening their own roots.

Teeth with weak roots are more prone to damage, like decay, gum disease, and fracture — all issues that can cause those teeth to be lost. Replacing missing teeth prevents neighboring teeth from drifting, reducing your risk of tooth loss in the future.

Bite problems

Even a single missing tooth can throw off your bite mechanics, making it more difficult to chew and enjoy the foods you love. Plus, gaps left by a missing tooth create areas in which bacteria and plaque can hide, increasing your risk of gum disease, a leading cause of adult tooth loss.

Plus, when your bite balance is altered, it changes how your teeth meet. Over time, your teeth can be subjected to uneven wear, breaking down enamel and increasing your risks of cavities and tooth fractures.

Jaw pain and headaches

Bite balance changes also affect your jaws. When your bite pattern changes, it also changes the way you use your jaw joints and jaw muscles, increasing strain on both.

Over time, this change leads to chronic jaw pain and headaches, along with a problem called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD).

Change in facial structure

Most people don’t realize the role their teeth play in maintaining their face shape — until one or more teeth are missing. Even a single missing tooth can change the way your face looks, causing your cheeks to appear more sunken and creating an older, more worn appearance overall.

Speech issues

Even one missing tooth can alter your speech, taking a direct toll on your ability to pronounce specific letters. At the same time, many people maintain a more closed-mouth position to hide their missing teeth, resulting in mumbling that can be difficult to understand.

Replace your tooth, save money

Since replacing missing teeth can help reduce your future risks of more serious oral health complications (like gum disease, decay, TMJ, and additional tooth loss), that means it also reduces the chances that you’ll need more complex — and more costly — dental work later on, a “side effect” you and your budget can celebrate.

Increase confidence and well-being

Just one missing tooth can dramatically change your appearance and decrease your confidence — and that includes missing back teeth. There’s a psychological toll that comes from having a tooth go missing, a toll that can deeply affect self-confidence and self-esteem.

Replacing missing teeth helps you maintain your facial appearance, preventing you from looking older or more “worn out.” Plus, it improves the impression you make on others during social situations and in professional settings.

Replacing missing teeth: It’s easier than you think

Our team offers several options for replacing missing teeth, including dental implants, bridges, and dentures. To learn how we can help you maintain your beautiful smile following tooth loss, call 419-670-6537 or book an appointment online today at Tomase Dental Care.