Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Missing Tooth

A missing tooth goes well beyond an appearance issue. It can cause serious complications for your dental and whole-body health. If you've cracked a tooth or one is missing, it's important to seek care right away. 

A missing tooth can cause problems with biting and chewing, and it can lead to deeper issues. At Volterra Dental in Los Alamitos, California, we're ready to handle any dental emergencies when it comes to repairing your smile.

Heightened risk

Missing teeth can damage your confidence, but having gaps in your smile also leaves you more vulnerable to harmful oral bacteria. A missing tooth increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, providing an empty space for material, plaque, and harmful bacteria to build up and possibly fester.

Your mouth is one of the major gateways to your body. Every time you swallow, the bacteria in your mouth can enter your bloodstream and spread throughout your body. 

A missing tooth heightens your risk for oral infection. If that infection spreads, it can lead to serious problems, including heart disease. For women who are pregnant, gum disease itself is a serious condition that can increase the risk of premature birth.

A missing tooth also leaves your remaining teeth vulnerable. The teeth around your gap can weaken as your bite becomes increasingly misaligned. 

Without a full array of teeth, the integrity of your jawbone is compromised. As your jawbone begins to shrink at the site of your empty socket, you may also struggle with receding gums.

Practically speaking, a missing tooth can create issues with oral activities like chewing and even speaking. Ignoring a missing tooth can damage you on the inside (digestion issues) and the outside (your appearance), and can leave you in discomfort from headaches and oral pain.

Treatment options

Multiple options are available for handling cases of missing teeth. In some cases, we install a dental bridge, mounting a filler tooth, or multiple teeth if needed, between remaining teeth. The neighboring teeth in your mouth work as anchors to hold everything in place.

Another more permanent solution to the gaps left by missing teeth is a dental implant. At Volterra Dental, our implant specialists custom-fit artificial tooth roots to fill your empty socket. The procedure is done in-office with local anesthesia. 

We place the titanium artificial root inside your gums, surgically anchoring the implant into your jawbone. A custom crown or bridge installed at a later appointment completes the implant, fully restoring the integrity of your smile.

It's important not to wait on getting treatment for a missing tooth. Your options will be better the faster we can address the issue! If you ignore the problem, the condition of your mouth will deteriorate, complicating the installation of implants or bridges. Dentures are an option for patients whose condition won't permit other treatments.

No matter the issue, our team at Volterra Dental is ready to help. Led by Art P. Laos, DDS, and Alice Fukui, DDS, we provide comprehensive and cosmetic dental support for patients in and around Orange County, California, at our Los Alamitos office. To schedule a consultation appointment and discuss your situation with one of our providers, call today or send us a message from our website.

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