PART 4: MISSING TEETH
Taking care of your teeth isn't about making the dentist happy. It's about your quality of life.
While there are many elements of good oral health, four issues stand out far above all others-issues that can cause extensive dental treatment or possibly cause you to lose your teeth altogether.
We discussed tooth decay, gum disease and a bad bite in the previous Dental 101 articles.
There are 4 important dental problems to watch out for, today we address missing teeth:
A dentist will say, "Every tooth has a function." But more simply every tooth has a job to do. For example, when you chew your food, your front teeth are meant to tear your food apart and your back teeth are meant to grind it. When you have missing teeth, you begin to rely too much on the other teeth-chewing on one side exclusively, for instance. This causes excessive stress on those teeth and they can wear down faster or worse yet the overstressing can eventually cause them to break, and have to be removed.
And there is another aspect to this- Every tooth has a proper slot in your mouth. When you are missing one, the neighboring teeth start to shift, and move over into the slot of the missing tooth. This throws off the bite, causes even more stress, gives discomfort when chewing, and even headaches. In short a lot happens when one loses a tooth, sometimes not right away, but it definitely starts a dwindling spiral that eventual takes its toll on your oral health, and your budget.
You can replace missing teeth by getting dental implants, bridges or removable partials. There are many options from a simple and temporary fix, to a cosmetically aesthetic permanent replacement, often done so well it is almost as good as the original tooth.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is particularly true with the dental problems above. Caught early, they're easy to fix, and require minimal treatment. Left alone, they can require extensive dental treatment, and permanently affect your quality of life.
If you remember anything about caring for your oral health, remember the four points mentioned in this Dental 101 series. This little bit of dental education is literally the difference between living life smiling - or not.
Please share this with those you care about.
Please contact StarBrite Dental at (301) 770-1070 if you have any questions about the risks of missing teeth, and your options for having them replace. We're here to help you.