Dental Information · Oral Health

The Common Problems That Missing Teeth Cause

Having one or more missing teeth might cause feelings of low self-esteem and make you feel self-conscious and embarrassed. In addition to the emotional trauma of a missing tooth, there are a number of other concerns and dangers associated with a missing tooth or teeth, which often results in significant health concerns.

1. TMJ Problems

People that have missing teeth, especially the molars, will often experience a shift in their original bite. This usually occurs on the opposite side of the missing tooth as the remaining teeth compensate for inabilities to chew properly on the side where the tooth is missing.

This usually results in jaw stiffness and pain that increases as time goes by and can develop into TMJ disorder. TMJ is a condition that causes the jaw to click or pop, pain, muscular headaches and can even start to limit how wide you can open your jaw.

2. Breeding Ground For Bacteria

You have probably already noticed on commercials for toothpaste and mouthwash, that most of the bacteria present inside your mouth is hidden in the areas that are harder to reach.

When you lose a tooth, the dark cavern which is left behind is the ideal space for bacteria to breed. This often results in gum disease, cavities, and decay.

You will probably also experience the issue of food becoming trapped or stuck in the spaces that are left behind from the missing tooth, which leads to issues such as bad breathe along with more bacteria growth.

3. Limited Diet

When you have a tooth that is missing, you may start finding it more difficult to eat certain types of food on that side of your mouth. This might start placing a limit on the type of food that you eat, especially when it comes to harder foods such as meat, nuts, and hard vegetables or fruit.

When you stop chewing in the area where the tooth is missing, this results in an increase in wear-and-tear when it comes to the other teeth in your mouth.

4. Shifting Teeth

Over time, the teeth that are next to the site where you lost a tooth will start to move into the spaces left behind. This might result in more gaps between the remaining teeth, and the shifting teeth might start twisting or tilting as they start shifting.

When this starts to happen, your eating abilities become further compromised, while the likelihood of developing TMJ also starts to increase.

5. Facial Changes

While some people attribute changes to the face with losing weight or getting older, when you start losing teeth these processes start to accelerate.

As bone loss in your mouth starts to increase, the width and height of the jaw bone start to decrease which can result in a number facial changes that include bite changes, your face height starts to decrease, and your chin might start moving forward.

6. Bone Loss

Bone strength is largely dependent on regular stimulation. The jaw bone holds the responsibility of supporting your teeth and stress and small vibrations caused by teeth contact makes sure the bone remains resilient and strong. It can be compared to muscles that get stronger when a person regularly works out.

When a tooth is lost, that areas in the jaw bone no longer receives these stressors and small vibrations, and the bone density starts to decrease which includes the height, width, and the overall bone volume.

In one year, many people experience up 25% of width loss in their jaw bone.
In 2 to 3 years after losing a tooth, the bone in this area can decrease by as much as 4 millimeters.

Bone loss is also associated with causing aesthetic problems, along with issues with pain, talking, and eating. If you carry on losing teeth, these problems become even more exasperated, with bone density loss that can result in fractures.

7. Low Self Esteem

A missing a tooth or teeth will make you feel uncomfortable when it comes to speaking or smiling when around other people. You might even start to speak differently, or even start avoiding social settings.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, today there are various options to treat missing teeth which can restore the normal functions of your mouth. Below are some of the common treatment options for missing teeth:

• Dental Implants

Dental implants are known as one of the most effective options. In most cases, an implant looks just like a natural tooth when it comes to both the function and appearance of the tooth.

• Bridges

Unlike the implants, a bridge is positioned using adjacent teeth as the anchor points. This is a less expensive option when compared to the implants, yet the bridges are not as long-lasting.

• Dentures

When you have lost most of the teeth in your mouth, dentures are the most cost-effective option. These come in partial or complete dentures, where they replace both the gum tissue and the teeth.

Hopefully, this gives you some important information in regards to the negative impact of leaving missing teeth untreated in your mouth. Our advice is not to delay in replacing missing teeth as the negative effects greatly outway the cost of replacing them.

Dental Information · Dentist's Tips · Oral Health

What You Should Expect At A Dental Check Up

Going to the dentist is very important. Everyone should be making it a priority to go to the dentist a minimum of two times per year. For those with issues, more visits might be necessary depending on your dental condition.

Getting the proper checkups throughout the year can really help you keep your dental health in check. Below, we will be going over some of the things that you should be expecting at a dental check-up.

What To Expect At A Dental Check-Up:

1. X-Rays.

One of the things that you are going to be expecting at a dental checkup would be x rays. Getting x rays completed during a checkup is typically recommended especially if you haven’t had one in a while. During these x rays, they will be checking for everything from jaw or bone problems, decay, cysts, and even tumors.

An x-ray will tell the dentist a lot about your dental health and it can help to spot issues that wouldn’t normally be able to be detected with the naked eye.

2. Full Examination.

Another thing that you should expect at a dental check-up would be a complete examination of the mouth. Your dentist will look through your entire mouth checking for signs of gum disease, tooth decay, and other common issues. They will be checking to see whether or not there are specific issues that might be cropping up that they could treat to prevent the issue from becoming an actual problem. This allows them to offer preventative measures and care for their patients.

They will typically come in at the end of your cleaning to see what the hygienist has to say about your teeth and the condition they were in. Also, they will ask you all kinds of questions and whether or not you are dealing with any pain or issues with your teeth.

3. Thorough Cleaning.

Most of all, you are going to be getting your teeth thoroughly cleansed. Checkups are a time at which you will have a dental hygienist or even your dentist perform thorough teeth cleaning.

During this, the hygienist will be using various state of the art instruments in order to scrape hardened plaque off of your teeth, below your gum-line, and more. They will likely polish your teeth and even floss your teeth to remove anything stuck between your teeth.

This is a necessary aspect of a dental checkup because you want to get any buildup that cannot be removed with your own toothbrush and flossing routine. Otherwise, the plaque buildup could lead to issues like tooth decay and even gum disease because it will provide food for bacteria to thrive.

Overall, there is a lot that you should be expecting from a dental checkup.

You want to be sure that you are investing in a checkup a minimum of twice per year. That way, you will be able to get your teeth thoroughly cleaned and avoid issues that can stem from having major plaque and tartar buildup.

By getting your teeth looked at twice per year and by getting the proper x rays, your dentist should be able to tell you whether or not you have to make changes to your oral health care routine and whether or not there are certain things that can be done to protect your oral health.

You want to go to the dentist to get a dental checkup anywhere from 3 to 6 months at a time if your teeth are healthy.

However, if you need to go back for further treatment due to having a cavity or for another reason, you will be making an additional appointment to handle it.