Seven! That’s how many teeth adults between the age of 35 and 49 are missing, on average.
Of course, for most of us missing teeth, four of the missing are wisdom teeth, which are very seldom needed.
Still, that leaves an average of three missing teeth.
This means it’s likely that you or someone you know has lost at least one tooth.
And while missing a tooth can be unattractive, it can also be dangerous to your dental health.
To help you understand why a missing tooth should be replaced, and the options available, Your Gold Coast Denstist put together this guide to missing teeth and the choices you have when you need to replace your teeth.
First, let’s look at the many ways you can lose teeth:
- Periodontitis– Gum disease is the #1 cause of adult tooth loss, and this might even be considered fortunate since it is avoidable and can be treated.
- Avulsion – In some cases, accidents knock teeth out, and they cannot be reimplanted.
- Wear – Clenching or grinding, using teeth as a tool (opening things, cracking nuts), etc.
- Loss of bone mass – Contributes to periodontal disease
- Illness– Diabetes, cancer, etc.
- Xerostomia (dry mouth) – Lack of saliva increases plaque and tartar buildup
Some of these causes of tooth loss can be avoided, but when they can’t be, it is critical to replace the teeth that are lost.
Why do I need to replace missing teeth?
Here are four of the major issues that can be caused by missing teeth.
Your teeth support each other
One missing tooth begins to affect the integrity of the teeth around it and can lead to a cascade of dental problems. When a tooth is knocked out, remaining teeth move in to fill the space, a process that is made easier by bone-loss caused by a lost tooth root.
This harms the jaw, makes it easier for plaque and tartar to build up, leads to cavities, and makes future dental work more complicated and expensive.
The health and mass of your lower and upper jaws are dependent on the tooth roots being present. Tooth roots provide stimulation to the jawbone.
If a tooth is knocked out, the jawbone lacks the stimulation needed to keep blood flow active, and this leads to a reduction in bone height and width.
This ‘shrinking’ process is called resorption, and it comes with adverse effects on dental health and appearance.
If resorption goes untreated and a replacement tooth is not placed, resorption can cause the appearance of the face to “cave in” and sag, creating an unattractive and older appearance.
This one is fairly obvious – your smile is not going to look as good if it is missing teeth. And studies show that a stunning smile can increase both confidence and success.
Your teeth are there to perform specific tasks including smiling, eating and communicating. If you lose teeth, all of these functions are impaired.
The fact is, if you lose a tooth, you need to replace it. So let’s look at some options.
Tooth Loss Solutions
Solutions to missing teeth can include bridges and dentures, but by far, the most effective solution to tooth loss is a tooth implant.
Here is why:
- Dental implants prevent bone loss. If an implant is not placed within one year of tooth loss that jawbone in that area loses a quarter of its volume, and bone loss continues as time goes by.
- Dental implants work like natural teeth. Implants restore full chewing power, allow regular brushing and flossing, smile like natural teeth, and support speech as natural teeth do.
- Dental implants can last a lifetime. Implants integrate with the jawbone for durability.
- Dental implants support nearby teeth. Missing teeth can lead nearby teeth to shift into the gap, affecting your bite, chewing, and appearance.
- Dental implants fight gum disease. Gaps and tilting teeth can be traps for food and bacteria that cause tartar, plaque and decay.
- Dental implants prevent premature aging and facial sagging. By halting bone degradation and filling gaps in your smile, implants fight excess wrinkles around the mouth, thinning lips, and sagging flesh.
How Your Gold Coast Dentist can help
Your Gold Coast Denstist is experienced and skilled at dental implants.
And currently, we are offering a FREE Consultation for patients considering dental implants. Give us a call!
Getting the most from Your Gold Coast Dentist!
Your Gold Coast Denstist combines high levels of skill with the most advanced dental techniques and years of experience.
We give the highest level of quality and comfort for patients of all kinds.
From bi-annual checkups to the most delicate dental procedures, Your Gold Coast Denstist treats you and your family with the care and respect you deserve!
FREE Dental Implant Consultation
To book an appointment with us, call us on (07) 5594 6699 or visit us at, Parkwood Piazza Shop 10/300 Olsen Avenue, in Parkwood.
We are looking forward to seeing you!