Aesthetics, confidence, and first impressions aside, ignoring the gap in your smile can cause potential risks to your oral health if not addressed by your dentist. If you’re missing a tooth, here’s why restoration is important and why dental implants are the best way to fix the gap.

Oral Health Implications:

Mesial Drift

This condition essentially refers to the movement as teeth shift and overcrowd towards the front. When there’s a gap in your smile your teeth will begin to compensate for the gap, and as a result, begin to drift towards that empty space. This can cause your teeth to become misaligned, crooked, and overlapped.

Super Eruption

A super eruption generally occurs over the span of a few years when a tooth has been missing. Specifically, the missing gap can cause the tooth that’s located opposite to it, to rise out of its socket toward the space where the gap is. As this occurs, the root rises and can become exposed. As the root becomes exposed, increased sensitivity can occur, causing eating and drinking to become painful.

Gum Disease

Your teeth act as a sort of barrier that helps protect your gums. When you lose a tooth and that open gap lingers, that protection dwindles and the risk of obtaining gum disease increases. Germs and bacteria can easily get stuck in the exposed area, leading to plaque and tartar, if not infection. This can also cause gums to swell, bleed, and even recede. The oral health of your mouth and gums can become significantly fragile without that proper barrier provided by the tooth.

Bone Loss

Bones needs stimulation to maintain density and form. Teeth provide this stimulation for the alveolar bone and prompt the bone to remodel and rebuild, staying strong and healthy. With a gap, the alveolar bone will begin to lose form and density. In addition to the changes in the mouth, this bone loss can cause the face to develop a more sunken, aged look as the bone loss progresses. The same effect can apply to the basal bone (jawbone).

Dental Implants

Thankfully, dental implants can help to alleviate those risks and maintain proper oral health. They are the most sought after treatment for missing teeth since they are permanent, and (best of all) look natural.

So if you have a tooth that’s missing from your smile that you’ve been ignoring, dental implants are the best way to restoring your smile to what it used to be, while ensuring that your teeth and gums remain healthy, as well.

Talk to your dentist today to discuss how dental implants can benefit you so that you can get back to embracing a healthy smile.

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