There are dozens of ways to lose a tooth. It could be completely accidental or the result of years of neglect. However, the end result is the same. You have a gap, and you have to decide what to do about it. In this scenario, it’s very common for non-specialists to assume that it really isn’t a big deal, particularly if the gap is further back in the mouth and less visible as a result. Unfortunately, there are a whole host of hidden consequences that you may not be considering. So what happens if you don’t replace a missing tooth?
What Happens if You Don’t Replace a Missing Tooth?
Your mouth is a complex system and requires every piece to work properly. Failing to replace a tooth is a lot like taking a cog out of a machine. Regardless of placement, a missing tooth with interrupt function to some degree, and the issue will worsen over time. This is the result of gradual deterioration in the gum and in the bone. Both of which can put your other teeth at higher risk and will dramatically alter and age your face over a period of years.
Don’t Just Ignore It
If you lose a tooth outside of a dental office, your first step is to get medical attention. Find your tooth if you can, disinfect it in milk or a saline solution, then put it back in place. You may use gauze to hold it in position on the way to your local dentist’s office. If they are not open, then you should pay a visit to the emergency room.
Timing is critical because your mouth is full of bacteria. The loss of your tooth has exposed your nerves, your blood, and even your bone to potential infection. Your medical professional’s top priority will be to clean and close off the wound site. From there, you will need to have an honest conversation with a dentist specializing in periodontics to determine the next step. At LA Wilshire Perio, you can receive treatment from the best periodontist Los Angeles has around.
It can be easy to ignore a missing tooth if it isn’t directly impacting your everyday life. Depending on the location, you may barely notice it at first. Eating might be a little more challenging, and certain sounds may not come out quite right when you speak, but these minor inconveniences are just the first signs of what can result from missing teeth.
All of the bones and soft tissues that allow your mouth and jaw to work normally rely on repetitive pressure. When you chew, the motion of your teeth encourages your jawbone and the rest of your teeth to remodel continuously. This relationship is necessary to preserving the strength of all the bones in the lower half of your face, allowing them to serve their physical and aesthetic function.
When you’re missing a tooth for an extended period, that relationship breaks down. The jawbone near the missing tooth is gradually reabsorbed into the body. The gum begins to collapse. As a result, the support structures for your surrounding teeth are severely undermined. It is only a matter of time before your one missing tooth results in multiple missing teeth.
Preventing Bone Loss
There are several options for improving the aesthetic appearance and daily function of a missing tooth. Still, there is only one option that will prevent bone loss and premature aging: a dental implant. For the most affordable tooth implants Los Angeles has, visit LA Wilshire Perio. These medical devices utilize a titanium “post,” which is drilled directly into the jawbone. A support structure and porcelain prosthetic are placed over this post to give you a realistic-looking tooth that fully replicates the relationship teeth naturally have with the jaw. As a result, your dental implant will stimulate your jawbone to remodel itself during normal activities like chewing and talking. Your facial bones will stay strong and continue to support your face.