According to the American Dental Association, the average American adult ages 20-64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth. In other words, if you have missing teeth, you’re not alone. If you’re missing teeth, you should replace them, because doing so will protect your appearance and your health
There are numerous physical and emotional consequences that you can experience as a result of living with missing teeth. Kavitha Gowda, DDS, at Perfect Smiles Dentistry in Everett, Washington, will share some of them with you.
Stress on your surrounding teeth
All of your teeth work together to allow you to chew properly. When you’re missing teeth, your other teeth are forced to do more work than they’re used to. Furthermore, the teeth near the open space will begin to shift into that space. When this happens, gaps will open up elsewhere, which will make your teeth unstable.
If your teeth shift out of place, this could also affect your bite and lead to damage. For instance, if you’ve lost a tooth from your bottom jaw, and the rest of your bottom teeth shift out of place, they may become misaligned with your upper teeth. Consequently, when you chew, your teeth may collide and chip or crack.
Higher risk of decay and gum disease
When you’re missing teeth, you increase your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Food can get trapped in the gap and thus encourage the development of plaque and decay. Furthermore, if your teeth shift out of place, this can make your teeth harder to clean.
Problems with speech and chewing
Depending on where your teeth are missing, your speech may be affected. Without your teeth, you may find yourself slurring certain words. This may lead a reluctance to talk due to potential embarrassment. Furthermore, you may also find it more difficult to chew properly.
When you bite down, your teeth provide stimulation to your jawbone. This stimulation is needed, because it keeps your jawbone healthy and growing. When you’re missing teeth, there is no longer any stimulation in that area. This can lead to bone loss, which can eventually change the shape of your face.
When you’re missing teeth, your cheeks are not supported, and your skin in that area can sag and give your face a caved-in appearance. Replacing your missing teeth will push your cheeks back out and make your face full again.
If you’re missing teeth, see what your options are by booking an appointment online or over the phone with Perfect Smiles Dentistry today.