December 16, 2017
Are you missing one of your premolars (the teeth between your pointy canines and your molars)? Do other people know that you’re short one or two pearly whites? If it’s not obvious when you smile that you don’t have a full set of chompers, you might reason that you don’t need to get the missing ones replaced. After all, your appearance isn’t suffering, and you have enough teeth left to enjoy all of your favorite snacks. But replacing missing teeth is important, regardless of where in your mouth the gaps are. Your dentist explains why.
Teeth Can Drift
Your teeth aren’t cemented into their positions; they’re connected to your jawbone by ligaments that allow the teeth to move a little. That’s why braces can gently nudge them into new places over time. Your teeth apply a bit of pressure on each other so every one of them stays put.
When a tooth disappears, the adjacent ones can begin to drift. This will have a big impact on your bite, perhaps causing your teeth to hit one another at odd angles when you’re chewing. You might end up accidentally cracking or chipping a few of them.
Super Eruption Is Super Bad
When a tooth first emerges from the gum line, it’s called eruption, which is a natural and necessary process. However, super eruption is when a tooth comes out too far, and it can happen to the teeth across from your missing premolar. Super erupted teeth can negatively affect your bite, and they may fit more loosely in your mouth. It’s possible that you’ll lose them altogether.
Gum Disease Is a Danger
Even people with a full set of teeth can develop gum disease, but your chances of suffering from this condition increase if you have a few gaps in your smile. When teeth drift, it might become harder to clean between them. Therefore, icky stuff like plaque and tartar has a chance to build up. When all that bacteria sneaks beneath the gum line, it causes the inflammation that is known as gum disease
Gum disease isn’t a minor matter; if it is allowed to run its course, it may result in tooth loss, chronic bad breath, and even systemic health conditions.
TMJ Syndrome Accompanies Tooth Loss
TMJ syndrome happens when there is too much stress on the joint that connects your jaw to the rest of your skull. You might experience headaches, popping and locking sensations in your jaw, and other unpleasant symptoms. One cause of TMJ is missing teeth; it happens when teeth drift out of place and affect your bite, causing your jaw to work harder than it should. Ouch!
Maybe you didn’t think it was a big deal when you had to say farewell to your premolar, but that was before you knew all the bad things that a missing tooth can lead to! Why not find a “dentist near me” who can help you get back a complete smile?
About Tysons Dental Esthetics
Dr. Sanae Berrada is the dental implant expert at Tysons Dental Esthetics. She puts her experience and extensive training to work to help people regain their missing teeth. If you would like to learn more about how you can prevent the problems that come with gaps in your smile, please contact us at 703-821-8111.
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