Some people may think that a missing tooth is a big deal, especially if it’s towards the back and not particularly seen. After all, you do have numerous other teeth—so you won’t need that one missing tooth to enjoy your life, right?
Unfortunately, this is rarely true. Tooth loss, as caused by various reasons—such as gum disease, jaw injury, and other illnesses—leads to even more short-term and long-term problems. If you are wondering what precisely a missing tooth can do to your mouth, here are the consequences you can expect to end up dealing with:
1. Bone loss
One of the most significant issues you can face due to tooth loss is bone loss. This happens when your jaw is no longer being stimulated from chewing pressure, causing it to deteriorate and lose its mass slowly. Even just one missing tooth can cause the jaw to lose a quarter of its bone. If left untreated, it can cause other problems with the rest of the teeth, distort facial features, and more.
2. Shifting teeth
When you lose a tooth, you leave a gap. This gap will cause other teeth to shift into it slowly. As a result, it can hurt the aesthetics of the rest of the teeth structure!
Unfortunately, the problem does not stop there. As the teeth slowly shift, it can also lead to more tooth loss. Put simply, one missing tooth can lead to more losses—leaving you greatly affected if not resolved quickly.
3. Distorted smile
If you care a lot about your looks, this is an issue you do not want to allow to develop. With missing teeth, your jawbone slowly deteriorates, you start to lose more teeth, and deal with a whole host of other problems. All of these can result in an altered smile, causing you to feel shy or even embarrassed to show your teeth to other people.
This can also seriously hurt your confidence and self-esteem. You may end up locking yourself up at home more often than you would like because you do not look good anymore.
4. Chewing impediments
Depending on where you lost the tooth, the difficulty of chewing can vary. However, what will happen is that you will end up with temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, also known as TMJ disorder.
TMJ disorder causes pain and dysfunction in your jaw muscles and joints, impairing your ability to chew properly. This can lead to unsatisfying meals that only lead to pain and nothing else.
5. Speaking difficulties
With a missing tooth, speaking can become troublesome. You may end up speaking as if you are drunk (slurring), and you may even start to develop a lisp. Just like how a missing tooth can hurt your aesthetics and damage your self-esteem, speaking problems like these can also do the same.
Put simply, a missing tooth can lead to various problems that will hurt not only the function of your mouth but even your psychology. As such, if you are missing any tooth or teeth, you must visit a dentist right away to put in a replacement. This will ensure that your jaw's function and utility remain intact, that you can head out feeling proud and enjoying life without the trouble that any missing teeth could have caused you.
Dental House MI is a dental practice offering various dental services and procedures such as cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, oral surgery, and more to satisfy your dental needs. If you need affordable dentistry in Ann Arbor to replace your missing tooth, schedule a visit to our clinic right away!