If you’ve recently lost a tooth, you may be wondering if it’s really necessary to seek treatment right away. While paying to have a tooth replaced may not seem appealing, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Without rapid treatment, you could suffer from a variety of unpleasant consequences. Here are a few of the top reasons you should replace missing teeth with dental implants immediately.

Bone Health

Did you know the bone in your jaw begins to degrade soon after you lose a tooth? The reason for this degradation is because the roots of the tooth are no longer present to stimulate the bone every time you speak or chew. Over time, bone loss can become so significant that the shape of the jaw can change. Fortunately, dental implants can prevent degradation and support bone health by taking the place of tooth roots and stimulating the jaw.

closeup of a woman's smile showing a missing tooth in the front of her mouth

Dental Function

When you lose a tooth, you lose a certain degree of dental function along with it. You may suddenly find that eating your favorite foods is challenging or even painful when the sensitive gum tissue in your empty tooth socket is exposed. To restore full dental function, your dentist in Rochester Hills, MI, may recommend dental implant placement.

Teeth Positioning

Each tooth in your mouth is partially held in position by the teeth around it. When a tooth falls out, the teeth next to it naturally move to fill in the empty space. This can cause changes in your bite over time. Your teeth may also feel looser once they begin to shift out of place. The quicker you have a missing tooth replaced, the less likely you’ll have to deal with unpleasant changes to your bite.

Prevent Damaged Teeth

When you have missing teeth and your remaining teeth begin to shift in position, it will affect the way you chew. It will also cause some teeth to absorb more force than others. This can cause uneven wear and damage to some of your teeth, not to mention TMJ disorder. Without a tooth replacement, your teeth can crack and chip and require dental crowns or other serious dental work.

When the teeth are misaligned and some teeth absorb more force than others, they can also experience enamel damage. Enamel damage is possible even if there are no chips or cracks. The constant pressure on certain teeth will cause the enamel to erode away. Signs of eroding enamel include sensitivity to sweets, hot or cold, and teeth that easily decay. Your teeth will experience frequent cavities as a result of eroded enamel. Replacing your missing teeth can help prevent cracks, chips, and enamel damage from occurring.

Maintain High Confidence and Good Mental Health

Another reason you should replace your missing teeth is that otherwise, it will affect your confidence and mental health. Walking around with missing teeth in your smile can make you feel self-conscious whenever you open your mouth to talk, smile, laugh, or simply take a breath of air. You don’t want people staring at your missing teeth. By replacing your missing teeth, you can maintain the same level of confidence you’ve always had and preserve your mental health.

Avoid Early Signs of Aging

Without dental implants, bone loss can make remaining teeth feel loose and result in changes to your appearance. Jaw bone doesn’t just support your teeth, but also your facial structure. With tooth loss, it’s common for the lower third of the face to show early signs of aging. These early signs can include sagging or loose skin under the chin and on the neck, wrinkles around the mouth, thin lips, and flatter cheekbones. To prevent the early signs of aging, we highly encourage patients to replace their missing teeth with dental implants.

Prevent TMJ Disorder

One of the major side effects of not replacing missing teeth is experiencing TMJ disorder. As your remaining teeth shift in position and become misaligned, your jaw joints will experience an imbalance. To compensate for this, the surrounding muscles will work hard to correct themselves and become strained in the process. This can result in severe jaw, neck, and back pain, frequent headaches and migraines, clicking and popping in the jaw, and ear pain. To get rid of these painful symptoms, Dr. Wolfe will need to rebalance your jaw joints by realigning your teeth.

Get Dental Implants in Rochester Hills

The cost of not replacing your teeth is much higher than actually replacing your teeth. Unless you want to experience all the problems that come with missing teeth, we highly recommend that you replace your missing teeth. Dr. Wolfe at Signature Dentistry of Rochester offers a wide range of tooth replacement options including dental implants. Schedule a consultation today by calling (248) 651-0897 to find out if you’re a candidate for dental implants or other tooth replacement options.