If you have a missing tooth, you are probably concerned about how it might look, especially if it is in the front, as you smile. You may be quick to get the tooth repaired. However, having a missing back tooth should not be ignored. Depending on which tooth is missing, you may lose a significant percentage of chewing ability. In many cases, you may lose more than 50% of your chewing ability. When you are unable to chew, those areas which have missing teeth are ripe for becoming a food trap, may cause front tooth wear, and may even cause difficulty digesting your food.
As you lose back teeth which are meant for chewing food, the chewing forces are moved to your front teeth which are only meant to tear food. Tearing and chewing food wears down the front teeth twice as fast. This wearing down of teeth can become severe enough to make them sensitive, easily stained, or decayed. The continued wearing down of the teeth can eventually lead to replacing the tooth with a crown, or worse yet, a root canal because the nerve becomes damaged. Some individuals may even develop temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems.
Another consideration with a missing tooth is the movement which can occur with the remaining teeth. Teeth can shift into the space and this could happen within a few months or years and there is no way to predict the movement. When the teeth move, they will tilt. If not treated, the tilting may not be correctible by wearing braces, causing a lifetime of food trapping and possible loss of more teeth due to periodontal (gum) disease.
If you would like information about treatment options for missing teeth in Granada Hills, California, feel free to contact the office of John Bosak, Jr., DMD today. There may be several options which can be outlined to prevent further dental problems.