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The True Cost of Not Replacing A Missing Tooth

Smiling older man with a missing front tooth

In a recent study by the American College of Prosthodontists, close to two thirds of Americans are missing at least one tooth and almost 35 millions are missing all their teeth. Regardless of how a tooth was lost, it is embarrassing. People can lose their teeth because of genetics, cancer, gum disease, drugs, and injuries.

While it doesn’t matter how a person lost a tooth, the fact remains that not replacing a missing tooth can cause a variety of problems for individuals that far transcend the aesthetics of missing teeth. Sure, you might look older when your teeth are missing, but additional issues arise that are far more complicated.

Bone Loss

One of the most critical issues related to tooth loss is bone loss. When a tooth leaves its socket it leaves a void where its roots and base used to embed into the bone. This void eventually leads to bone resorption. Bone resorption, however, isn’t limited to just the socket that is left empty.

It impacts neighboring teeth and can even cause your face and lips to take on an asymmetrical and sunken appearance. As your bone resorbs your gums are also at an increased risk of developing gum disease, which can lead to decay in surrounding teeth and gum tissues.

Poor Speech And Eating Functions

Your teeth play an integral role in how you live out your daily life. When you lose one or more teeth you begin to experience a decrease in the ability to eat certain foods and speak normally.

This is because when you speak your tongue presses against your teeth and surrounding tissues to make certain sounds. If those tissues do not exist you can’t make the right sound to say certain words. This becomes embarrassing and frustrating.

Additionally, eating foods that require extensive chewing, like steak or burgers, can be nearly impossible when you don’t have the right teeth to get the job done. Your front teeth are used to take bites, while your back teeth are used for the process of chewing. Each tooth serves a purpose and without one getting the job done is just that much more difficult.

Poor Self-Esteem

The way we look and talk all make a difference in how we see ourselves and how other people see us. When a person is missing teeth they begin to quickly lose their self-esteem. This can lead to depression and impact your social life and work.

Additionally, studies have shown that people with attractive smiles actually make more than those without. This means that missing teeth can actually impact your career tract!
The good news is there are a variety of treatments available that can treat missing teeth. These include permanent prosthetics, like dental implants, as well as removable prosthetics like dentures. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help bring your smile back to life, restore your mouth’s function, and improve your quality of life. We have extensive experience treating tooth loss and are here to serve each patient’s unique needs.