Missing teeth should not just be an aesthetic concern; in fact the undesirable look of a gap between two teeth will be the least of your worries once you know what missing teeth can do to your health…If you are missing teeth, receiving treatment should be a priority, by leaving gaps between your teeth you could be causing damage to your entire oral health. Here at Curtis R Couch DDS in Thousand Oaks California we have multiple treatments to help replace your missing tooth or teeth.
#1 ShiftingWhen you lose a tooth it puts the condition of your entire mouth at risk, this is largely because your surrounding teeth could shift out of place. Our teeth are not cemented into position (which is why we can use braces to straighten them) this means that they can move in and out of place if their surroundings change. When a tooth falls out the teeth surrounding it have room to move into the gap which can cause alignment problems in the future.
#2 Facial harmonyFacial harmony refers to the structure of your entire mouth, it looks at the jaw, the teeth and gums in relation to the structure of your face. By leaving your missing teeth untreated you could be putting your facial harmony at risk. Your teeth each have an individual purpose and each contribute to the structure of your jaw and face. When you lose a tooth this puts more pressure and strain on the surrounding teeth to make up for the gap, when this occurs it can cause changes to your oral environment. These changes can affect the aesthetics and function of your smile. Appearance can alter as a result of the of the jaw changes, this can even increase wrinkles and can cause the corners of the mouth to droop.
#3 Eating and speakingOne of the most worrying effects of tooth loss is your ability to properly consume food, depending on the tooth lost this can make it difficult to eat. The area that surrounds and supports your teeth relies on essential stimulation that comes from the teeth themselves. Teeth make contact with each other all the time which will cause small stresses to the socket and jaw which prompts the bone to remodel and rebuild continually. When a tooth is missing this rebuilding doesn’t occur which can often cause a loss of volume. When a tooth is lost, the lack of stimulation causes the jaw to decrease in width and height- as this happens gum tissue also gradually decreases. The ability to chew and to speak can be impaired because of this lack of volume.
What I can I do about my missing teeth?Here at Curtis Couch DDS in Thousand Oaks California we offer a couple of solutions for our patients who are in need of treatment for their missing teeth. Some of these treatments include:
- Dental implants – as the most secure and permanent solution for your missing teeth, patients can feel confident about the security and durability of implants. Dental implants are titanium fixtures that fit into your jaw (like a tooth root would). This ensures that your replacement tooth will securely stay in your mouth while maintaining your facial harmony.
- Crowns and bridges – this restorative solution acts as a cap for your damaged teeth, with a bridge we can cap the two neighboring teeth and replace the gap with a prosthetic tooth. While providing less security to the jaw it does prevent your teeth from shifting in and out of place.