Can missing teeth affect your health?

Missing teeth can be embarrassing or unsightly, but they could also cause far more problems than a self-conscious smile. What you may not have realised about missing teeth is that they can actually affect your general and dental health in a number of ways.

Luckily, if you are missing teeth, we provide options for tooth replacement suitable for all, including dental implants and implant-retained dentures. The Dental Health Centre, Grantham, always recommends replacing a missing tooth because it can not only provide excellent cosmetic results, but also save you from future treatment and further discomfort in the long-term.

So, how can missing teeth affect your health?

Replacing missing teeth ensures that we can maintain the function and uniformity of your bite. If don’t replace a missing tooth, the surrounding natural teeth have no support and can therefore shift and move into the gap, causing problems with your bite, smile, and chewing. This can of course affect your cosmetic smile but can also worryingly lead to problems and wear and tear on your remaining teeth. The extra wear and tear shouldered by your remaining teeth can become uncomfortable, lead to improper mouth function, and even the need the future treatment.

The gap in your teeth not only poses the opportunity for your teeth to move into it, but also leaves that area of your gums more exposed to food and sugars. Leaving your gums exposed to this harmful debris can lead to a much higher risk of gum disease, which can be painful and require further, avoidable dental treatment. Gum disease is extremely common in the UK and affects 3 out of 4 of adults over the age of 35, so if you leave your gums susceptible to disease you leave yourself even more vulnerable. Filling this gap with a dental implant can shield the gum, helping to keep not only your teeth but the rest of your mouth healthy.

The gap of your missing tooth doesn’t just expose your gums, but also offers much more access to larger areas of your unsupported teeth. This allows food debris and sugar to build up and get trapped in or against the teeth neighbouring the gap, greatly increasing your risk of tooth decay. This will require future treatment, attentive cleaning, and even possible extraction should it progress to decay or disease, so it really is best for your general and dental health if we replace missing teeth. Opting to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant not only keeps the surrounding teeth supported and in their correct place, but it also stops the build-up of harmful sugars.

If you are missing more than one tooth, your facial muscles can become lazy and saggy, and your jaw bone weaker, so you can lose structure to your face. This is because our teeth and our jaw rely on each other for structure and strength, so when we lose multiple teeth our jaw feels the knock-on effect. The jaw bone loses the signals from the missing teeth and stops producing tissue to keep the bone beneath strong and healthy. In as little as 12 months, the affected area of the jaw could lose up to 25% of its bone density. This will affect the way you eat, talk, and chew, so replacing multiple missing teeth with dental implants can not only ensure function is restored to your mouth, but that your jaw bone remains healthy and hearty.

We understand that dental implants can represent a big investment, but they can drastically lessen your chances of encountering any dental health problems in the future that may need further treatment. You will be thanking your dental implants for years to come, so if you are considering replacing missing teeth then don’t hesitate to contact our Grantham dental practice. Call us on 01476 594480 or you can enquire online today.