If you have a missing tooth, you may think that it’s not a big deal, and it doesn’t even rate a visit to the dentist (after all, there are very few people who enjoy going to the dentist, and a lot of people put it off as long as possible!). However, missing a tooth is one of those things that may not seem harmful now, but can actually result in a lot of pain and problems later if it is not dealt with.
What happens if you don’t replace a lost tooth?
Your teeth all work together to keep your mouth and your jaw healthy. If you are missing a tooth, the other teeth can start moving and shift out of place. If a tooth gets too close to other teeth, it can be difficult to clean them properly, which can result in tooth decay. When they are out of place, the muscles in your face and jaw start to change, which can result in TMJ. TMJ is the common term for temporomandibular joint disorder, a painful jaw problem that means headaches, muscle aches in the jaw, shoulders, and neck, and pain when chewing. And, in the worst case scenario, if you have too many teeth missing, your jawbone may start to weaken.
Having a lost tooth can make it difficult to enjoy eating like you used to. Food may get stuck in the gap, or it may be difficult to chew. You may start to avoid crunchy fruits and vegetables just because they take so much effort to eat, or you may have to give up your favorite foods.
A missing tooth may also make you feel self-conscious about your smile. Having a missing tooth can make it difficult for you to speak clearly, and it can also make your mouth start to sag and make you look older than you are.
The good news is that, whether you are missing one tooth or several teeth, Pacific Northwest Smiles can help. Dental implants look and feel natural and can help to keep you and your mouth healthy. Contact them today for an appointment, at 425-357-6400!