Humans start losing their baby teeth by age six to give way to permanent teeth, which should stay until old age. However, certain factors may weaken teeth to the point of deterioration and, ultimately, make them fall off.
Missing teeth aren’t only an aesthetic issue; they’re also a potential health risk. If you've lost a tooth or more, you must visit your dentist immediately so they can help you. Ignoring the problem will only lead to painful and sometimes fatal consequences. These include the following:
1. Chronic Headaches
A frequent headache is one of the first things you may experience when you lose teeth. This pain results from missing teeth from the back of the mouth. When you have gaps in this part, your whole jaw could shift and cause unnatural bites that stress jaw joints. That’s how the headaches begin.
So, if a permanent tooth falls off, seek immediate dental help from a dentist in Midland or a local dental clinic near you. You must fill the gap before the onset of a headache arrives. Treatments usually involve dental implants that replace and resemble your missing teeth.
If you have chronic headaches and dental issues, your dentist could confirm the real problem. It may be due to a lost tooth you’ve never realized was missing or decided to ignore.
2. Losing More Teeth
You’ll likely lose your other teeth soon when you lose one permanent tooth. Weakness on the jawbones from a missing tooth may spread and affect your remaining teeth. You could also have a painful overbite due to other teeth pushing forward to compensate for their lack in number.
Schedule a visit with your dentist when one tooth falls off. They may implement preventive measures to protect the neighboring teeth from following suit or damaging the jaw structure. Dental implants aren’t the only option to solve the problem. Your dentist may recommend removable dentures or a fixed prosthesis to fill the empty spot.
3. Risk Of Bone Loss And Weak Jaw Muscles
Like your body’s other muscles, your jaw needs regular exercise to function properly and stay healthy. When several of your teeth are gone, you may feel more pain while your mouth adjusts to the loss. Other than that, the jawbone underneath the missing teeth doesn’t receive the proper stimulation they need from biting and chewing. This issue could result in bone deterioration.
When your jawbones weaken, the muscles might follow. Brittle bones could let the jaw muscles collapse, changing the overall structure of your face. Aside from being a cosmetic problem, the involuntary alteration of your jaw may also negatively impact your mental health.
Another problem tooth and bone loss may lead to is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Bone deterioration could cause your jaw’s muscles to become tender and unable to support the joint connecting your mouth to your skull. This condition often manifests as facial pain, earaches, or lockjaw. All these issues might be a detriment to daily life.
Since missing teeth often cause the jaw or other teeth to shift in another direction, it could become difficult to chew food. You might feel pain while eating or be unable to chew well. When such problems arise, you could eat less to avoid the discomfort. In turn, that may lead to improper nutrition.
Malnutrition is a medical condition that has multiple causes, including tooth loss. So, if you find yourself physically weak, it may be because of a dental problem keeping you from eating enough food. Malnourishment could worsen your immune system, which may make you constantly sick.
People with missing teeth might also suffer from sudden weight loss. You can prevent this by filling the empty spot as soon as possible. Your diet can remain as it is when your teeth are all complete.
5. Gum Disease
A missing permanent tooth will always leave behind an empty, exposed slot in one row of your teeth. This spot becomes prone to bacterial growth, especially if you don’t practice correct dental hygiene. And when the proliferation worsens, you may end up with gum disease.
Gum disease is a condition that manifests as bleeding gums, bad breath, or gum discoloration. Without immediate treatment, it may negatively affect your overall health and rapidly become a fatal issue. Some medical research even links respiratory and cardiovascular problems to gum disease.
A missing tooth might not mean much in hindsight. But if you leave it be or refuse to receive help, it could lead to some severe health conditions. You could prevent these issues by seeking immediate dental care for the empty spot in your gums. An adequately installed replacement by a reputable dentist can make you healthier and more confident to smile.