Three Reasons Why Replacing Missing Teeth Is Important
Having missing teeth is more than a cosmetic issue. While having gaps in your smile or a mouthful of nothing but gums can make you feel bad about yourself, there are also bigger health issues at hand that can be resolved by having those missing teeth replaced. Here's what you may not know you're at risk of if you're missing one or more teeth.
When you think about digesting food, chances are the first thing your mind goes to is your stomach and the process it goes through. However, digestion actually starts before the food ever gets to your stomach or guts, as it begins in the mouth.
Your saliva is full of compounds and bacteria that are responsible for starting to break down the food that enters your mouth. As you chew, the food is torn apart and is easily accessed by these elements. However, without adequate chewing, it's not as easy for the food to get broken down before it's swallowed. As a result, you may experience more stomach problems, gas, or general indigestion. Unfortunately, the more teeth you're missing, the more difficult it is to chew thoroughly.
Another thing to consider is that your remaining teeth may be at risk due to the loss of neighboring teeth. Plaque, tartar, and bacteria can cause a lot of damage in the mouth even if you have all of your teeth, but missing teeth often allow these substances to do even worse.
For example, it's easier for plaque and tartar to accumulate on teeth when there's more space around them, like when a neighboring tooth is lost. This can put your remaining teeth at risk of decay and loss, as well as potentially harming your gums and triggering gum disease.
Finally, while many people don't know this, your teeth have an impact on the health of your jawbones. Chewing sends pressure down through the tooth and into these bones, where it stimulates the body to produce new bone cells. However, when this regular pressure is absent, those bones don't receive the signal and can start to become thinner and weaker overall. If enough teeth are missing and nothing is done about it, it can result in significant weakening of the jaw bone and even put neighboring teeth at risk, as they rely on the jawbones to support them.
Having missing teeth is much more than a cosmetic issue. Talk to a dentist about getting your missing teeth replaced to resolve or avoid these problems. Schedule a consultation with a dental clinic like Pacific Ave Dental/Allan L. Hablutzel, DDS.