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Is My Missing Tooth Going to Be a Problem?

Is My Missing Tooth Going to Be a Problem?

Most adults should have between 28 and 32 permanent teeth in their mouths, but millions fall short of this ideal range thanks to missing teeth. And the problem isn’t a small one in the United States — more than one-quarter of Americans aged 65 and older have 8 teeth or fewer.

If you’re wondering about the implications of having missing teeth, Dr. Roge Jacob, Dr. Magdalena Azzarelli, and the rest of the team here at Hillsdale Dental Care pulled together a few points to consider. 

More than just the loss of your tooth

When you lose a tooth, the whole structure is gone, which means the crown that you see above your gum line as well as the roots that go into your jawbone. Without these roots signaling activity in this strong bone, your body ceases to rebuild bone in the area, and you can experience significant bone loss. 

To give you an idea about the bone loss that can occur after you lose a tooth, studies show that you lose up to 30% of the alveolar ridge (the bone that holds your teeth in place) in the first six months. After that, the bone loss continues, and if you have more than one missing tooth, a shrinking jawbone can impact your appearance. 

This bone loss can also threaten the stability of neighboring teeth.

Tooth loss can impact your nutritional health

Depending on which tooth or teeth you’ve lost, it can impact your nutritional health if you’re shying away from certain foods because you just can’t eat them as easily now. For example, you might start avoiding crunchy carrots or other healthy foods that require a bit more chewing.

Or, you might encounter some digestion issues if you're not chewing your food thoroughly enough, instead relying on your stomach to do the breaking down that your teeth should first accomplish. 

Gum recession

Missing teeth can also accelerate gum recession, which can lead to further issues with periodontitis (gum disease) and tooth decay as more bacteria gain access to the soft and hard tissues in your mouth.

Maintain dental health through tooth replacement

As you can see, the answer to the title of our post about whether a missing tooth is a problem is a firm, “Yes.”

This is why we offer several effective tooth replacement options, including:

To offset all of the concerns we listed earlier, including bone loss, we suggest a dental implant, which features a metal post that acts as your new tooth root, signaling your jawbone tissue to continue to grow.

If an implant isn’t an option, a bridge or dentures can go a long way toward addressing the nutritional and cosmetic issues that come with tooth loss.

To figure out which solution is best for your tooth loss, it’s a good idea to sit down with us to discuss your options. To get started, we invite you to contact our office in San Jose, California, to set up a consultation.

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