Why You Should Never Ignore a Missing Tooth

Compared with other parts of your body, a tooth wouldn’t seem like that big a deal if it was lost. For starters, a tooth is fairly small, and if the missing tooth was in the back of your mouth, chances are other people wouldn’t even notice. It’s just one tooth, right? You still have plenty of others.

The problem is that a missing tooth doesn’t just stay a missing tooth. It can lead to a host of complications down the road, which is why Dr. Carl F. Lipe and our team here at his dental implant practice in Denver believe it’s so important to take care of the problem as soon as possible.

Let’s look at a few reasons why the more than 120 million Americans missing at least one tooth should see a dentist as soon as possible.

Gum disease

When you lose a tooth, you open an entrance to your body that provides the perfect warm, wet conditions where bacteria thrive. These bacteria can cause you to develop an infection, which can lead to gum disease. This can cause your gums to recede, which can result in more lost teeth. Plus, gum disease has been linked to several major medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. Trust us, you don’t want gum disease.

Alignment issues

Losing a tooth leaves a large gap between surrounding teeth. Over time, these teeth tend to shift into that gap, which allows the teeth next to them to shift. You soon end up with crooked teeth when they weren’t crooked to start with. A misaligned bite isn’t only a cosmetic problem — it can also cause jaw pain and headaches, and it puts pressure on teeth having to function in a different manner than they should be.

Bone loss

Without stimulation to keep it healthy and growing, your jawbone begins to change shape and lose mass. Your teeth provide the stimulation your jawbone needs to grow, so if you’re missing a tooth, that part of your jawbone may become unstable because it’s no longer growing. The change in your jawbone shape can alter your appearance and make you look older than you really are. 

Bad breath

Okay, so this one isn’t as important to your health as the others, but you don’t want to be “that person” at the office party and spend the whole evening alone. The space where a tooth used to be in your mouth is a perfect breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria that can cause your breath to smell of decay.

Now that you know how important it is to have all your teeth, what should you do when one goes missing? The best solution is usually a dental implant. During a dental implant, Dr. Lipe installs a titanium post into your jawbone — this functions like a root for your new tooth. Once the implant has properly grown in, a permanent crown is installed that looks and functions just like your regular teeth.

If you’re missing a tooth, schedule a consultation at Carl F. Lipe, DDS today. Just call or book your appointment online, and you’ll be well on your way to a great, healthy smile!

 

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