A dental implant in Houston has the power to fill in that gap in your smile, boost your confidence, and make it easier for you to enjoy all of your favorite foods. Still, if the missing tooth isn’t visible, or if you simply don’t mind that there’s a bit of extra space in your mouth, you might hesitate to get that gap filled in. Let’s talk about why it is important to replace even one missing tooth.
Your teeth are attached to your bone via tiny ligaments, which allow your teeth to move very slightly. Normally, this is a good thing because it allows orthodontists to correct misalignment problems. However, your teeth’s capacity for movement can also be a bad thing if you are missing a tooth. The teeth next to the gap may begin to drift out of place, leading to malocclusion (a bad bite). This issue can place extra stress on your jaw and cause problems with your temporomandibular joints (TMJs).
The misalignment that may result when you lose a tooth can make it difficult for you to thoroughly clean all of your remaining natural pearly whites. Therefore, you become more likely to suffer from problems such as tooth decay, discoloration, bad breath, and gum disease.
When you lose a tooth from your bottom arch, the tooth directly above the space may begin to overerupt — that is, it may extend too far from the gum line. This movement can expose the tooth’s root, which is very sensitive to temperature changes and more vulnerable to decay than the top part of the tooth because it has no enamel to protect it. In a worst-case scenario, the overerupted tooth may fall out altogether.
Excess Wear and Tear
The bite problems that result when you lose a tooth can place extra pressure on your remaining teeth when you’re chewing. Therefore, you are at an increased risk of prematurely wearing down your smile. You may find over time that your teeth become extra sensitive or that they become misshapen.
If your missing tooth makes it difficult for you to chew your food properly, you may gravitate toward a diet that is full of soft foods — and lacking in wholesome fruits and vegetables. Inadequate nutrition can have devastating consequences for your entire body; you may begin to suffer from excess fatigue, unhealthy weight changes, and more.
Replace Your Missing Tooth
Dental implants in Houston have the potential to prevent all of the above problems. Not only can they serve as placeholders to keep your remaining natural teeth in place, but they can also provide you with a strong bite and a confident, beautiful smile.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to replace your missing tooth with a Houston dental implant is up to you. However, we strongly urge you to consider getting it replaced before it has a big negative impact on your oral and overall health.
About the Author
Dr. Steve Koo received his dental degree in 1999, and he later went on to complete an Oral and Maxillofacial residency program at the University of Texas. He has a special passion for using Houston dental implants to replace his patients’ teeth and bolster their oral health. If you would like to speak to Dr. Koo about how to fill in the gap in your smile, contact our office at 713-597-7340.