Millions of Americans are missing teeth and many are missing more than one. There are several replacement options for missing teeth, but many avoid treatment because of fear of the oral surgeon, budget issues or the fact that they are unaware of how much damage can be done from a missing tooth. It affects more than just the way you look if you don’t replace missing teeth.
Prime Place for Bacteria
Most of the bacteria in your mouth lives in places you can’t see that are hard to reach, which is often why it has the chance to grow. If you lose a tooth and don’t replace it, you’ve created a perfect home for bacteria to live and thrive. These bacteria can lead to decay, gum disease and cavities and trap food in inconvenient places.
Each tooth helps to hold the others in shape, and once one is missing, there is room for the others to shift. Over time as the spot is left open, your remaining teeth will move to fill in that gap. As the teeth shift, they can also loosen. If left for too long, a missing tooth can cause a once straight smile to become crooked and misaligned.
The natural tooth’s root is anchored in the jawbone, and the connection stimulates the jaw to continue to create more bone. Once that root is gone, the bone will die and crumble over time. This can lead to bone loss in the jaw that is irreparable.
How Dental Implants Help
Dental implants replace the root and are placed right in the jawbone. Over time, they connect with the bone and stimulate it to grow. This means there is no bone loss, a tooth in place to keep your teeth from shifting and it’s easier to clean your mouth when you have all your teeth.
At The Marquis Center in San Antonio, TX, we take pride in keeping mouths healthy. Call Dr. Mueller today to learn more about replacing any missing teeth you have.