Should I Replace My Missing Teeth? Yes – Here’s What Happens If You Don’t
If you’ve lost one or more teeth in Carmel Valley or San Diego, you may be thinking about putting off tooth replacement. It can’t hurt to wait a few months or longer to replace your tooth, right? Wrong.
Losing a tooth is more than just inconvenient. It can harm your self-esteem, your ability to eat your favorite foods, and even your oral health. Learn more below in this blog from Carmel Valley Dental Care, and see what happens if you don’t replace your missing tooth.
1. Your Remaining Teeth May Start to Shift
First, your nearby teeth may begin to move and shift toward the gap in your smile where your missing tooth used to be. This happens because they’re trying to fill in the space where you lost your tooth.
This can cause problems with the alignment of your teeth and your bite, potentially leading to further oral health problems and the need for expensive orthodontic treatment.
2. You’ll Feel Self-Conscious About How You Look
If you lose one or more teeth, especially front teeth, you may feel self-conscious about your appearance due to the social stigmas associated with missing teeth. You may not feel confident about how you look and you may hide your smile and your teeth, particularly in professional situations or when meeting new people.
3. You May Not Be Able to Eat Your Favorite Foods
Losing teeth also makes it harder to eat and chew, since your teeth are responsible for cutting, grinding, and mashing up food so that you can swallow and digest it properly. Losing front teeth makes it harder to eat things like apples or bagels. Losing rear teeth like molars will make it more difficult to grind up meat and fibrous vegetables.
4. You’ll Have Trouble Speaking Clearly
Beyond smiling and eating, your teeth also are essential for speaking clearly. If you lose some of your teeth, especially your front teeth, you may sound more “slushy” and unclear when you’re trying to speak clearly and enunciate. You’re more likely to slur your words and might have trouble making certain sounds like “S.”
5. Your Jaw Bone Will Start to Weaken
Once you lose a tooth, the underlying bone tissue will no longer be stimulated by biting and chewing forces, and it will begin to weaken. This is called “bone resorption.”
The only way to stop this from happening is with a dental implant, which is surgically placed into your jaw bone and will stimulate the bone similar to a natural tooth root.
Other methods of tooth replacement, such as a dental bridge or partial denture, will not stop the process of jaw bone loss, which is one of the reasons why dental implants are our top recommendation for replacing missing teeth.
Explore Your Options for Tooth Replacement in San Diego – Contact Us Today
If you’re missing one or more teeth in Carmel Valley or elsewhere in San Diego, Dr. Lindsay Bancroft is here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (858) 755-3780 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bancroft to learn more about restorative dentistry and your options for tooth replacement, such as dental implants.