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The Cost of Not Replacing a Missing Tooth

Missing teeth may not seem like too much of a problem, especially if you are not in any pain. Whether you are concerned about spending money on dental implants or other tooth replacement options or you simply assume that you won’t need to do anything once the gap has healed, you may be surprised to know that leaving missing teeth can end up costing you far more in the long run than getting the teeth replaced.

The Biggest Risks of Ignoring Missing Teeth:

If you assumed that a missing tooth would not cause too much damage, think again. An empty tooth socket can cause a number of complications – some minor and some far more serious. Some of the biggest risks of ignoring missing teeth include the following:

Increased risk of oral disease.

One of the biggest risks of a missing tooth is the increased risk of gum disease. When the area that formerly housed the tooth is left uncovered, it becomes far easier for gum disease and other diseases to penetrate the unprotected tissue and damage the gums. This can then spread infection to neighbouring teeth, causing even more problems.

Lack of self-confidence.

If the tooth is in the front of the mouth, it can very quickly lead to confidence issues. Even if it is further back, you will end up feeling uncomfortable about the gap. You will not want to smile properly, avoid photographs and feel self-conscious whenever you are talking to anyone. Teeth play a vital role in self-confidence and facial aesthetics. Even just one missing tooth can affect your smile.

Bone resorption.

Bone loss or resorption is even more of a risk. When a tooth is lost, the natural roots are no longer embedded in the jawbone. Instead, there is a void that quickly begins to take a toll on adjacent teeth, affecting the bone within your jaw. Bone loss can be a very serious complication that gets worse when left untreated. Leaving a gap for too long can end up causing very serious issues that are far harder to treat.

Difficulties chewing.

When you have a missing tooth – especially one that is used for chewing – it begins to affect your entire digestion process. Hard foods will become far harder to chew, which means that you may often end up swallowing large particles of food that in turn become harder to digest. This causes problems with your overall health and makes it harder to get the nutrients your body needs to thrive.

TMJ complications.

Missing teeth can also increase the risk of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems or even temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). These are caused by an imbalance in the jaw, which can often be triggered by missing teeth that change the distribution of pressure as you chew. These issues can be very dangerous if left unchecked. View our guide to TMJ and TMD to see just how much damage these complications can be if not treated.

Poor quality of life.

Your entire quality of life is also affected when you cannot chew properly, cannot smile properly and develop complications with your oral health. Rather than taking that chance, it is essential to get your tooth replaced as quickly as possible – before you experience any further complications.

Don’t wait until you start to experience problems. With so many tooth replacement treatments available, a good dentist in Durban and surrounds can help you restore your teeth once again. Get in touch with the Gateway Dental team today to be helped.