You may think that missing a single tooth won't really affect your overall oral health that much. After all, you have 32 of them, so what's a single tooth matter? The truth of the matter is that it really does make a big difference. Here are a few ways that your oral health can be affected if you are missing a tooth.
Your Bone Tissue May Begin To Deteriorate
Have you ever noticed the “sunken” appearance that some elderly people have? This is due to what happens when teeth fall out. As you know, your teeth are seated in your jawbone. What many people do not realize is that the constant stimulation of the teeth being used acts as a strengthening agent to the jawbone. When teeth are missing, the bone where they would normally sit begins to waste away. Even a single missing tooth can cause your jawbone to begin to deteriorate, so don't pass it off as nothing if you are missing a tooth.
Your Surrounding Teeth May Wear Unevenly
Your teeth fit together like a key and a lock. Each tooth that moves against another is shaped in such a way as to fit perfectly against its match. So, if you are missing a tooth, one of the effects is that the other teeth may press against each other unevenly, making them begin to wear out prematurely. Because of this, a missing tooth poses a significant risk to the rest of your mouth.
What Should You Do?
If you are missing a tooth, you need to have it replaced. You can opt for a dental implant, or a simple bridge between the remaining teeth. Whichever route you choose, though, it is important that you do get the matter taken care of. This will help keep your smile happy and healthy.