What Happens if You Don’t Replace a Missing Tooth?

When you look good, you feel good. A missing tooth can have a negative impact on your appearance and, subsequently, your confidence. If you’ve lost a tooth, you might be wondering what you should do next. You might have questions about replacement options or about what happens if you don’t replace the missing tooth. If so, you’re in good company. Did you know that more than 156 million Americans are missing at least one tooth? Over the years, we’ve answered hundreds of questions about tooth loss from concerned patients. Below you’ll find more information about what happens if you don’t replace a missing tooth.

Your Teeth Will Move

If you fail to replace a missing tooth, the teeth around the gap will begin to move, resulting in changes in your smile. Gaps often develop, and teeth often become crooked if you don’t replace the missing tooth with a dental implant, denture, or bridge. This movement can affect the health of your other teeth and ultimately lead to the loss of your remaining teeth. If you alter the way that you chew to compensate for the lost tooth, you could end up damaging your bite, which, can lead to the need for further treatment.

Missing teeth have an impact on how well your bite works. Teeth are designed to work in pairs. Pressure is exerted from the top row and bottom row of your teeth when you chew. A missing tooth alters the alignment of your bite, decreasing your ability to chew efficiently. Some people even develop digestive issues after losing a tooth due to increased difficulty chewing.

The Alignment of Your Bite Will Change

If you don’t replace a missing tooth, the way your bite comes together will change. Your upper and lower teeth will start to come together differently. Misalignments often lead to other physical problems such as headaches and jaw tension. Your dentist can often prevent these issues from developing by placing a dental implant, bridge, or denture.

Reduced Confidence in Your Appearance

Many patients find that having missing teeth adversely impacts their self-confidence and feelings about their overall appearance. Many patients report feeling self-conscious when smiling, talking, or eating in public when missing teeth. Replacing missing teeth can play an important role in reducing negative impacts on self-confidence.

If you’re ready to get your smile back, contact us today to schedule a dental implant!

How Poor Oral Health Affects Children

We’ve known that oral health is an essential aspect of our overall general health for a long time. In the early 1980s, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop coined the phrase, “You’re not healthy without good oral health.” Yet, 34 million school hours are lost every year due to unexpected (emergency) dental treatments, losing approximately $45 billion in productivity due to poor oral care.

The Connection Between Oral Health and Our Overall Health

Our oral health vastly influences our overall health. Think of your body as a machine. Like any machine, if one part goes down, the rest falters. Plus, our mouths are filled with nasty bacteria. Good oral care and our body’s immune defenses keep these ugly bacteria at bay. Poor oral health can lead to tooth decay and gum inflammation. Gum inflammation, on and off, is followed by plaque buildup. That buildup weakens our body’s defenses allowing some of those harmful bacteria to slip into our bloodstream, causing illness elsewhere in the body. There are several conditions you might not know are connected to poor oral care. They are:

• Heart Disease/Stroke – In some cases, gum disease may be linked to the overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth (gingivitis). This inflammation may lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, increasing the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.
• Respiratory Disease: Bad oral hygiene can lead bacteria to go into the lungs and create plaque buildup. As a result, your lungs stiffen, and you become more susceptible to respiratory infections.
• Dementia: Swollen gums tend to emit a chemical that affects the brain. This chemical can kill brain cells, which, may cause memory loss. Worse, it has the potential to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
• Improper diet: If a child does not eat properly, they may lack the nutrients necessary for a healthy mouth. Oral disease leads to difficulty chewing and to a diet that lacks proper nutrition.

Poor oral healthcare can hinder a child’s school performance and speech. That is why dentistry for children is so important.

Keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy prevents further health complications in your child. So, it’s essential to get your child’s dental check-ups at least twice per year. Your child’s oral health affects their overall health. Boost your child’s emotional, physical, and mental health by ensuring that their oral health is in good oral standing.

Best Dental Care: 6 Tips for Having a Healthy Mouth

As you get older, your mouth and teeth are prone to problems. You may also experience pain or discomfort in the jaw, gums, or tongue. These problems can occur at any age, but they often happen when people reach middle-age and beyond. Preventative measures such as brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly will help ward off these issues before they arise. Here are some tips to help keep your mouth healthy.

1. Be Diligent With Oral Hygiene

Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice per day, and floss once a day. Flossing gets the plaque off the hard-to-reach places in between the teeth. If you wear braces or have other dental work such as implants, make sure to clean them regularly. Rinse after eating sugary foods or drinking sodas or coffee because these are high in the carbohydrates that bacteria need to grow, which can lead to cavities and decay.

2. Use Fluoride Toothpaste When Brushing Your Teeth

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water, soil, plants, and animals. It helps prevent tooth decay by making the enamel on teeth more resistant to acid erosion caused by bacteria. Fluoride can be found in many types of toothpaste or mouthwash, but some are not recommended for children under six years-old because they contain ingredients that can be harmful if swallowed. Read the label to find out how to use fluoride safely when you brush your teeth.

3. Reduce Sugar Intake

Bad bacteria need sugar as a food source, and it’s left behind after eating sweet foods such as fruit and candy, so brushing afterward isn’t enough to remove it from your teeth. If you eat a lot of candy or sugary foods and find that your teeth are sensitive after eating these foods, try brushing with fluoride toothpaste or rinsing with mouthwash to reduce the sensitivity. Be aware that smoking tobacco also causes sensitivity in teeth, so if you continue to smoke while doing all this, it will not help your teeth.

4. Visit the Dentist Twice a Year

A dentist can diagnose and treat issues like gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay. Gum disease (gingivitis) is a condition that affects the gums and the bone that supports the teeth. It’s caused by plaque building up to the point where it starts damaging tissues around your teeth which cause bleeding, inflammation, swelling in gums, pain when chewing or brushing, and bad breath. That’s not something you want!

Cavities are another problem which, if left untreated, will get worse and cause pain leading to infections. So, be sure to visit your dentist once every six months or twice a year for regular checkups.

5. Get Modern Dental Care Products

Newer products can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy by preventing damage to existing surfaces or even growing new ones if need be. Cosmetic treatments, modern fillings, modern dental implants, and whitening procedures are just a few of the advancements in modern dental health that can help you have better oral hygiene and healthier teeth. Take advantage of these modern-day advances in dentistry to revitalize your smile.

6. Get a Customized Mouth Guard

A custom-made sports mouthguard is a protective appliance you wear over your teeth to protect them from damage that can occur during contact sports like boxing and football. You don’t want to risk chipping or cracking your teeth, so this could be very beneficial for anyone who regularly plays any of these sports. There are many types of mouthguards available, but if you find yourself playing the same sport often, it might be worth investing in one of these rather than using store-bought ones, which are not as effective.

In conclusion, by following the tips listed above and visiting with your dental professional, you can have a healthy mouth and avoid dental problems that lead to much more serious issues. Many dental issues are treatable if caught early, but ignoring them could lead to tooth decay, gum disease, cavities, and more. Don’t let these conditions get out of hand, or you might find yourself unable to afford the necessary dental care.

Dental Implants – Choose the Permanent Solution to Replace Missing Teeth

There are many ways to improve your smile and your self-esteem. For teens, it may involve using Invisalign. Nearly 47% of teens using Invisalign said they felt a boost in their self-esteem during teeth-straightening treatment compared to 22% of teens who had metal braces. For adults with missing teeth, it may be dental implants.

Why Should You Invest in Dental Implants?

When you are missing teeth or just a tooth, dental implants are a permanent solution that improves smiles and the functionality of bites. A local dentist can provide you with the best dental care regarding dental implants. More modern implants have been used for over 30 years and provide the most natural-looking and strong alternative for teeth that are missing.

What Are Dental Implants?

Implants are essentially artificial tooth roots with artificial teeth affixed to them inside your mouth. The treatment starts by placing a titanium screw in your jaw to support artificial teeth. The screw keeps crowns and artificial teeth in place, unlike dentures that can easily slip out of place. Besides, implants look and function more like natural teeth.

Implants are also more comfortable than dentures which can cause sores in your mouth as well as irritate your gums. The look of implants is natural, so you feel your best. Dentures also tend to warp or break over time. Dental implants are more durable and stronger since they are securely placed in the jaw. Since implants act like natural teeth, they are also easier to clean and maintain.

Dental Implant Procedures Are Proven, Safe, and Predictable

Getting implants requires a process that is proven, safe, and predictable. The first step is having tiny screws, usually made of titanium, placed in the jawbone. This will serve as the “root” for artificial teeth. It takes a few months for the screws to fully fuse with the jawbone, which gives more stability.

The next step is to be fitted for abutments and crowns. An abutment is a piece that connects the implant and crown. These are specifically created to fit you and takes two weeks, on average, to complete. Until then, the best dental care involved fitting you with temporary tooth replacements.

The last step is attaching the abutment and crown to your implant. Your dentist will make sure that your new tooth fits perfectly, comfortably, and seamlessly blends in with your natural teeth. There are many advantages when it comes to getting dental implants. Continue reading to learn about them all.

Implants Look Like Real Teeth

Implants feel and look like real teeth. Having them fused to your jawbone ensures they don’t shift or move. This is a permanent solution that will continue to look attractive over time with the proper care.

Improve Your Speech

Missing teeth can cause your speech to sound impaired. Having those spaces filled with implants will enable you to speak clearly again. If you were to choose dentures, one little slip can make it hard to talk. Implants stay secure making it much easier to speak.

Chew Better with Implants

Just like with speaking, implants can improve chewing. Chewing can be difficult when you are missing teeth or trying to wear dentures. Implants function like real teeth and make it much easier to chew like you should, to digest food easily.

Are You a Good Candidate for Implants?

If you have healthy gums and a healthy jawbone, you are a good candidate for implants. Many patients have stated they feel very little pain or discomfort going through the implant procedure. Local anesthesia is what makes the entire process as comfortable as can be. Soreness afterward is typically treated with pain relievers that can be purchased over the counter.

Schedule an Appointment

Improve your smile and replace missing teeth with dental implants. Schedule an appointment to learn more about implants. This restorative treatment is one of the best ways to get your beautiful smile back.

best dental care

How a Dentist Provides Amazing Care

It’s not a stretch to say that most people want to live their best lives when possible. From eating right to taking care of themselves on a daily basis, there are lots of little things you can do that compound and eventually add up to a big difference. Some activities, such as going to the dentist, might not seem like a big deal, when they actually are.

Some of the best dental care you can receive are through annual or biannual checkups through a local dentist that you trust and know well. By having a professional look at your teeth and clean them, you have the best chances of knowing what could be going wrong and how to prevent future pains and problems. Your dentist is your friend, and we’re going to tell you the best reasons why you should make your next appointment!

The Professionals Know Their Stuff

It takes many years to get through dental school, and we as patients reap all of the benefits. Since it’s relatively tough to become a dentist, we can trust that these professionals really do know what they’re talking about when it comes to teeth and the mouth. Not only are they adept at spotting cavities and telling you the best practices for how to brush your teeth, but they can let you know whether an abnormal bite can be fixed or fine for the long haul. Any questions that you have about your oral health, current teeth structure, or the best ways to take care of your pearly whites are best directed toward your dentist and no one else. Although others may claim to be experts, only your dentist is qualified to give you this information!

X-Rays, Fluoride, and Other Worthwhile Procedures

Another big perk of going to your dentist that you won’t get at home or in the dental aisle of the grocery store is oral health procedures. Getting things such as X-rays or professional-grade fluoride are part of best dental care practices but can only be completed by a trained and qualified professional. X-rays can be dangerous unless you follow the procedures and exposure that are outlined at the dental office, and professional fluoride can be toxic if used in too high of doses. They will follow the best dental care practices at the dentist’s office and only do what benefits you at the end of the day.

Prevent Worst Case Scenarios

When you visit your dentist, you expect the best dental care when it comes to cleaning and telling you about the health of your mouth. But what could be better than helping you to avoid the worst-case scenarios when it comes to your teeth? When you visit the dentist, the inspection that they give your teeth will be thorough enough to make sure that any pokes or prods that hurt will be investigated. Any cavities trying to start up and take over your teeth will be found out, and any gum disease or jaw malfunction will be discussed. By allowing your dentist full access to your mouth, you are helping them give you the best dental care available by actively looking for worst-case scenarios. Instead of being in pain down the road, you can actively prevent those things by going to your dentist for a check-up.

Your Mouth’s Best Friend

Even if getting the best dental care is not high up on your checklist of life priorities, visiting the dentist has an extraordinary amount of benefits. Not only are dentists the only qualified professionals to be giving you advice about your teeth or oral health, but they also possess the tools to help diagnose and fix major problems. From being able to provide X-rays to professional-grade fluoride, there are lots of procedures that will help strengthen and give insight into your teeth that can only be performed by a trained dentist. Instead of having cavities or pains in the future, visit your dentist now! If you’re looking for a new, qualified dentist, consider Lowell Dental Arts for your next visit.

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