When the average person thinks about a missing tooth, they typically categorize it as a cosmetic issue. For this reason, a number of people don't think much about tooth replacement. However, losing a tooth is far more than a cosmetic issue and can negatively affect your oral health. Make certain you understand the importance of tooth replacement.
All of your teeth somewhat rely on each other to stay aligned. Each tooth puts pressure on the teeth that surround it, which prevents them from shifting or drifting. When you're missing a tooth, there isn't anything in place to keep the surrounding teeth in place, which could cause them to move.
It's important to note that drifting can affect more than just the two teeth that surround the open space. The problem is that, when one tooth shifts, it puts pressure on your other teeth, which can also cause them to shift.
Maintain Good Jaw Bone Health
Your teeth play an important role in keeping your jaw bone healthy. As you chew, the pressure exerted will travel down and put increased pressure on your jawbone. This pressure is important because it basically serves as exercise for this area – helping keep it strong and preventing bone loss.
On the contrary, when you don't have a tooth in the area, the bone can't be stimulated and will eventually start to wear away. Not only will bone loss be an issue in the area of the missing tooth, but it can also spread and increase the risk of you losing more teeth in the area.
Reduce Risk for Disease
Believe it or not, chewing actually plays a role in maintaining good oral health. Chewing breaks down your food into tiny pieces allowing you to easily swallow it and remove it from your mouth. However, when a tooth is missing, you aren't able to chew or break down your food well.
In this instance, small pieces of food can actually get lodged in the space where the missing tooth is. If you skip over this space when you brush, the food simply rests there. In the long-term, this type of scenario can increase your risk for periodontal, or gum disease.
If you have a missing tooth, make sure you aren't overlooking the importance of replacing your tooth. Speak with your dental provider to ensure you are maintaining good oral health and eliminating these concerns.