3 dangers of missing teeth

From sports injuries to traumatic accidents, the unexpected can happen; teeth can become cracked, broken or even get knocked out. Oral health issues such as gum disease or tooth decay can also lead to tooth loss. While no one would argue that having a gappy grin takes away from the beauty of a smile, it is also important to understand the dangers missing teeth can have on your overall health.

How can missing teeth pose any danger to your health?

  1. Gaps in teeth create a convenient hiding place for plaque and bacteria to build up. These places can be harder to reach, and more difficult to clean. Over time, this increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  2. The spaces left by missing teeth can cause neighboring teeth to shift. This can impact the balance of your bite as it begins to move out of its natural alignment. When the bite changes, many people subconsciously begin to grind their teeth. This chronic bruxism begins to wear your teeth down, making them shorter and/or causing cracks and chips.
  3. The constant grinding and jaw clenching place an extraordinary pressure on your jaw joints, causing further damage along with the potential for the onset of a TMJ disorder. This painful condition causes multiple TMJ symptoms, including headaches, an aching jaw, neck pain, facial muscle spasms and ringing in the ears.

What can be done for missing teeth?

Modern dental solutions for missing teeth include:

  • Dentures  are very often the most affordable approach for replacing multiple missing teeth. Unlike earlier versions, today’s dentures are fitted much better with a focus on maximum comfort and functionality.
  • Dental bridges are an excellent option when there are one or more teeth missing from the same area. This method provides a prosthetic replacement tooth, or pontic, held in place by custom-fitted crowns that fit over your existing teeth.
  • Dental implants are in many cases the best option for any tooth replacement. Not only are they permanently implanted into your jawbone, they more closely resemble natural teeth than other tooth replacement treatment options.

What should you do about your missing teeth?

If you would like to learn more about these tooth replacement treatment options and which one might be best for you, please schedule a consultation with Des Plaines dentist Dr. Thomas Meyer.

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