Common Causes of Missing Teeth and What You Can Do About Them

Common Causes of Missing Teeth and What You Can Do About Them

January 1, 2021

Almost everyone wants a full set of pearly white teeth. Seeing gaps in between our teeth can be bothersome and make us feel self-conscious. Unfortunately, teeth can be lost due to many different causes, not just aging.

Primary Causes of Missing Teeth

Tooth Decay

As with other dental problems, tooth decay is a common cause of missing teeth. When decay on and in a tooth is left unattended, it eats away at large portions of it, from the enamel all the way to its dentin. As this progresses, there will be little left of the original tooth. This can give off the appearance of a tooth gap.

Periodontal Disease

Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is a serious infection of the gums. This infection impairs soft tissues so that they lose their capacity to support teeth. As a result, teeth will gradually fall off from the affected areas on your jawline.

Periodontal disease has various stages in terms of severity: gingivitis (least severe) to slight, moderate, and advanced.

Tooth Trauma

Physical damages on teeth as a result of slips and falls, automobile mishaps, sports injuries, and the like are called tooth trauma. Such destructive impacts can crack, break, and even cause teeth to fall out.

Three Main Effects of Missing Teeth

Tooth-Shifting

Over time, your remaining teeth may shift closer to the portions of your gums that are vacant or toothless. Instead of affecting only the adjacent teeth, it turns into a kind of domino effect wherein one tooth moves and the ones beside it do the same.

The problem with teethshifting is that they rarely leave even gaps. This, then, creates unsightlyspaces in between your teeth.

Irregularities in Bite

As connected to the above, irregularities in the way the teeth on your upper and lower jaw meet will impact your bite. Teeth-shifting often leads to a malocclusion—a misalignment of the maxillary and the mandibular joint.

Bite irregularity can bring about jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, teeth grinding, headaches, and temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. Additionally, you might experience difficulty in chewing when consuming food.

Facial Distortions

The physical structure of your face can be affected by missing teeth. Parts of the cheeks that are no longer supported by teeth can become sunken, giving one a more aged appearance.

What You Can Do About Missing Teeth: Dental Bridge

Dental bridges in Westport, CT, are among the most preferred procedures for mending missing teeth. They belong to a category of false teeth known as pontics. With this, a tooth bridge is held in place by the abutment teeth on the adjacent portions of the gap.

This teeth replacement option has four categories. They differ in function according to tooth replacement needs.

Traditional Dental Bridges

A traditional dental bridge or a fixed bridge has at least one to three artificial teeth altogether. It is used to fill in a gap between two natural teeth. The natural teeth will be capped with each end of the bridge, and its middle pontic is what will cover the gap.

Cantilever Dental Bridges

A cantilever dental bridge has two artificial teeth. Like most traditional dental bridges, it can replace one missing tooth. One end of the pair will serve as the tooth crown for the natural tooth next to the gap.

Your general dentist in Westport, CT, will recommend cantilever bridges to patients who have a missing tooth on the “front” portion of the mouth, as they experience a weaker bite force compared to the back teeth or the molars.

Implant-Supported Dental Bridges

Unlike a removable dental bridge, which is held in place by one to two crowns or “caps,” an implant-supported dental bridge is implanted into your jawline. This full arch reconstruction is for gaps that are missing three consecutive teeth.

Since it is a more complex procedure, it may take months to complete. But if you are looking for a sturdy foundation for false teeth, this bridge is it.

Removable bridges will require replacing every five to fifteen years, depending on how well a patient maintains them. On the other hand, implant-supported bridges are a permanent solution for missing teeth.

For more information about dental bridges or to schedule a consultation with our general dentist near you, give Advanced Dental of Westport CT a call today.

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