Are missing teeth a big problem? When you see the gap in your smile in the mirror, you might think it gives you character. Or even if you’re not a fan, you don’t see any reason to invest in a bridge or implants. You’re doing just fine with missing teeth … or are you?
Don’t be fooled — missing teeth are more than just a minor, superficial inconvenience. They can have a significant effect on your long-term health. Be aware of the potential side effects after you have a tooth pulled.
Your Diet Will Change, and Not for the Better
When you don’t have full chewing ability, you tend to gravitate toward soft foods. Most often, people with missing teeth end up eating processed carbohydrates, since they are easy to break down. You may subconsciously avoid carrot sticks and apples because they’re difficult to chew.
These dietary restrictions can have a long-lasting impact on your health.
You Might Start to Lisp
When you don’t have all your teeth, it can affect your speech. Your ability to enunciate certain words may change, and you could even develop a lisp. This can make you feel less confident in social or professional situations.
You May Lose Bone Mass
Once you lose a tooth, the jawbone that used to support it will eventually start to recede. It senses that it is not needed to provide stability any longer, so your body stops sending nutrients to that area.
If you wait too long to get implants, you may need a jawbone graft beforehand to create a stable foundation for the replacement tooth.
Your Face Will Look Sunken
Bone loss affects facial structure. When your jawbone recedes, your cheeks don’t have the same support. They begin to sink in. This creates wrinkles and alters your outward appearance.
It Could Ruin Orthodontic Work
When the jawbone beneath missing teeth recedes, it affects all the surrounding teeth. These teeth may become loose and start to migrate. If you invested significant time and money getting your teeth in the right positions, this is a frustrating side effect.
Missing teeth can ruin your remaining straight teeth, and it also puts the health of these teeth at risk. When teeth are out of position, they’re more susceptible to disease, since it’s harder to keep them clean.
You Need a Solution
It’s time to explore your options. Don’t leave your oral health up to chance. Talk to Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today and learn about the choices available to you to replace your missing teeth.