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Can't You Just Leave a Gap Where a Tooth Went Missing? Find Out the Answer

Posted on 9/10/2015 by Keith M. Cooper
A man in a hat missing a tooth.Adults can expect to have 32 permanent teeth, and while the wisdom teeth aren't necessary, the other 28 are needed. The teeth are designed to work together at peak efficiency, but when you lose a tooth, the function of your mouth will suffer. It is thought that for each missing tooth in your mouth, you'll lose about 10% of your remaining food chewing ability, so it is important to have these missing teeth replaced.

Chewing Difficulties
Tooth loss can lead to problems chewing food properly, and your mouth will likely compensate by putting more stress onto the remaining teeth. You also may not be able to chew your food well enough, which could lead to swallowing food that wasn't quite ready to be digested. This could lead to digestive problems, and you may need to make changes to your diet due to your chewing issues.

Shifting Teeth
When a tooth is lost and is not replaced, the teeth surrounding the newly empty space will eventually begin to shift. For example, if a lower tooth is lost or extracted, the opposing tooth found within the upper jaw can grow longer in a downward direction toward the space of the missing tooth. This is known as supereruption or extrusion.

An additional problem involved with shifting teeth as a result of tooth loss is the development of tooth decay and gum disease. Once the teeth have moved, it can be difficult to clean them properly, and the teeth can begin to harbor harmful tartar and plaque. Without the ability to clean these teeth properly, periodontal disease can set in, which may ultimately lead to you losing even more teeth.

Missing teeth need to be replaced in order to support your continued oral health. Please contact us today to see what replacement options might be available.

San Jose
5150 Graves Ave., Suite 12E
San Jose, CA 95129
(669) 244-1550

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Keith Cooper, DDS | | (669) 244-1550
5150 Graves Ave., Suite 12E ,San Jose, CA 95129