Why Missing Teeth Are More Than Just An Appearance Issue

The embarrassment of having a missing tooth is bad enough, but those gaps can have more far-reaching negative effects than you might have imagined. No matter what happened to cause your missing teeth, you should have a full understanding of the additional problems that might result. Read on to learn more.

How Does This Problem Happen?

You might know that you want to avoid losing a tooth, but it might be helpful to find out why this dental condition occurs in the first place. Here are a few of the most common causes of missing teeth:

Injury – Whether it's due to a car accident, blows to the mouth, sports injuries, or other sudden impacts, teeth can be knocked out. That is only the beginning, however. Sometimes, you might suffer an impact to the tooth it becomes cracked or chipped. Any time this happens, you are setting the stage for tooth loss unless a repair to the affected tooth is carried out.

Decay – If you take care of cavities quickly, the tooth can be saved by the use of fillings, root canals, crowns, veneers, etc. If a cavity is allowed to destroy the tooth, the bone underneath the tooth can be affected.

Grinding – Bruxism is caused when you grind or tightly-clinch your jaws. This wears the enamel away and can lead to tooth loss.

Gum diseases – When bacteria are allowed to accumulate under the gums, periodontal disease can take over. Tooth loss can occur as a result of the destabilization of the gums that can cause loosening and shifting.

Smoking – This habit affects not only your general oral hygiene, but it can lead to the far more serious issue of oral cancer.

Other diseases – There are several medical conditions can negatively affect your overall oral health, such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and more.

Why is Missing Teeth a Problem?

Other than appearance, there are numerous issues common with missing teeth, such as:

Cavities – All of your teeth depend on their neighbors to keep them in place and healthy. When a tooth is missing, it can cause shifting, dropping, and the loosening of nearby teeth. That will change your bite, which means that undue pressure is placed on the rest of your teeth. This wears teeth down and can lead to losing even more teeth through cavities.

Gum disease – While this malady is also a cause of missing teeth, that condition can also cause gum diseases. When teeth are not properly aligned, gaps can allow bacteria to enter the gums causing periodontal issues.

Bone loss – The misalignment caused by missing teeth can also lead to bone loss in the jaw, which can affect your appearance in a different way. Bone loss in the lower face can make you appear tired-looking and older.

If you are missing teeth, speak to your cosmetic dentist about the many ways to alleviate this problem before it causes other problems.