Do you have a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth? If you are one of the 7 out of 10 adults in the U.S. between the ages of 34 and 44 that has at least one missing permanent tooth, you may want to pay attention. Having one missing tooth may not seem too problematic right now; unfortunately one missing tooth can lead to a myriad of problems for your mouth and surrounding teeth.

First and foremost, the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth will begin to shift and move. If there is a gap in your smile, the nearby teeth can start to tilt forward and drift toward the front of your mouth causing bite problems. Most people become self conscious and embarrassed having a gap in their smile. A gap in your smile can make it difficult to maintain good oral hygiene.  Gum disease and tooth decay is often found in dental patients with missing teeth.

When you have a missing tooth, its partner tooth, or the tooth it presses against no longer has a partner. The partner tooth may begin to push out or supra-erupt from the gum line which can expose the roots and cause bite problems.Exposed roots have their own set of potential problems from sensitivity to increased susceptibility to decay. Do you now realize how detrimental even one missing tooth can be for the remaining teeth in your mouth? Perfectly healthy teeth have the potential to fail because of a missing tooth.

When you lose a tooth, the jaw bone begins resorbing or eroding away in a short amount of time. Destabilization in the jaw structure from bone loss and can cause jaw disfiguration. If you or a loved one has a missing tooth, contact your dentist to talk about tooth replacement options. When it comes to missing teeth, finding a solution to replace that missing tooth is almost always your best bet.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care

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