“What Happens If I Lose A Tooth?”
Losing a tooth can affect a person physically, psychologically and socially.
If you are afraid to smile because of missing teeth, or other cosmetic issues, ask your dentist what can be done. Often times, a tooth missing towards the front of the mouth can have much more serious psychological effects than losing a back tooth. A black space can change how you smile and how you eat. A missing posterior (further back) tooth, however, is more likely to cause complications with surrounding teeth if not replaced.
Here are some of many complications if a missing tooth is not replaced:
- Dark spaces in smile
- Difficulty chewing certain foods
- Shifting of adjacent teeth (tipping, drifting). This can cause painful gum and bone conditions. Treatment may include braces or extraction.
- Growth of opposing teeth into space (supraeruption). This can cause sensitivity, pain, and changes to occlusion and cosmetics. Treatment may include braces, root canal therapy, or extraction.
- Bone loss in area of missing teeth. Bone loss typically increases with time. Bone loss can increase the appearance of dark spaces and increase the complexity of dental treatment. Treatment may include bone grafts or other surgical options. (See Bone Grafts for details)
If you are at risk for losing a tooth, discuss with your dentist all the options to save and/or replace to the tooth.