Most adults can expect to have 32 teeth. However, due to our modern diet, breathing habits and facial development we often don’t have adequate room for our wisdom teeth so they are commonly removed because they do not grow into the mouth well or have poor alignment. It is very unusual to have wisdom teeth replaced. But the other 28 teeth are needed.
When you lose a tooth, you lose some ability to chew food properly. This may mean that you either place more stress on the other teeth in order to chew all the food you eat, or you do not chew well enough and what is swallowed is not quite ready to be digested. This can lead to digestive difficulty. You might have to eliminate certain favourite foods because you cannot chew them thoroughly.
For each missing tooth, you lose approximately 10% of your remaining ability to chew food.
Other problems also occur when you loose a tooth. The teeth adjacent to the space left by the missing tooth will eventually shift. Imagine pulling a big book out of a bookshelf, the books either side tilt and fall into the gap, it’s the same with your teeth when you have one removed.
The teeth on either side of the missing tooth space will move and tilt and drift into the missing tooth’s space. This can make these teeth more prone to decay and gum disease because it is much harder to keep the teeth clean when they are not aligned properly. Also the chewing partner tooth in the opposite jaw will grow slowly (or sometimes quickly) longer as it heads into the missing tooth space, leaving it less well held in your jaw. Root structure that is normally covered by gum and bone may become exposed making the tooth more prone to decay, sensitivity and tooth loss.
All this can happen if just one tooth is lost!!
Major problems can occur when several teeth are lost. Your jaws get shorter and your bite gets smaller, your jaws start to collapse and loose height, the distance from your chin to the tip of your nose decreases, making your face shorter and you look much older as the facial muscles of the cheeks and mouth sink into the areas where your teeth are missing. Your speech and ability to chew also become affected.
Not to mention the severe cosmetic problems when the missing tooth’s space is visible when you talk or smile. This is not a pretty sight to anyone. This often leads to a loss of self-image and self-esteem and a feeling that you are getting old. Once you start losing teeth, you can actually start to look old.
Losing a tooth is pretty serious. The longer you wait after a tooth is extracted, the more difficult and expensive it can become to make the replacement you need. With very few exceptions, it is better to replace missing teeth as soon as possible. Evolution designed you to chew your food with 32 teeth.
Reasons to Replace Your Missing Teeth
1) Improve your smile and appearance – missing teeth make you looked aged and the gaps can appear unsightly affecting you confidence and self-esteem. Replacing those missing teeth can really make a difference to your smile and doesn’t have to be complicated or out of your price range.
2) Restore your eating ability – missing back teeth can make chewing your food difficult. Research indicates that people tend to choose non-nutritious food options when they are unable to chew properly.
3) Alleviate headaches, jaw & facial pain – Lacking a proper dental bite increases your chance of jaw pain and disfunction. Headaches, facial and upper neck pain can also be caused by a lack of proper tooth support.
4) Improve your airway – A narrow, over-closed mouth will impair your ability to breathe properly due to a collapsed airway. Replacing those missing can make a significant improvement to your breathing and therefore your health.
Please call our friendly Dental team to make an appointment so we can discuss your dental needs on 02 4869 3111.