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Dental Implants: The Important Health Reasons for Replacing Missing Teeth

Your desire for a healthy, full smile is reason enough to replace missing teeth. After all, your smile is what others often notice first when meeting you and remember longest after you’re out of sight. There’s nothing wrong with making a good impression.

Fortunately, many choices exist for replacing missing teeth that you can rely on to look natural and feel comfortable in your mouth. Dental implants are an easy-care, long-lasting, and natural-appearing choice. Once they’re in place, you may even have a hard time remembering which teeth are real and which are implants.

Did you know, though, that gaps left by missing teeth can also greatly impact the health of your mouth and jaw? At Farhoumand Dentistry in Vienna, Virginia, we recommend our patients consider replacing missing teeth as soon as possible, even those hidden from view.

We’ve outlined some reasons why replacing missing teeth is so important:

A missing tooth can throw your remaining teeth out of alignment

Healthy and properly aligned teeth are tightly connected to your jawbone and help keep one another in place. An empty tooth socket causes the surrounding teeth to shift out of position and start to move into the gap left by a missing tooth.

Misaligned teeth can cause an improperly aligned bite that may lead to headaches, difficulty eating, abnormal wear on your tooth enamel, tooth decay, and other oral health issues.

Missing teeth increase your risk of gum disease

Your gums ordinarily fit snuggly against your teeth and form a protective barrier that helps prevent decay-causing bacteria from settling into tooth structures under you gum line. When you’ve got a missing tooth and the others around it begin to shift out of position, it may create pockets in your gums that make it easier for bacteria to multiply, tartar to build up, and gum disease to start.

Your jaw loses bone when teeth are missing

Your body replaces and rebuilds bone tissue throughout your life with a process called remodeling. When teeth are missing, the stimulation necessary for bone remodeling in the jaw doesn’t occur.

Without remodeling, your body breaks down and resorbs the unused bony tissue. It’s an impressively efficient recycling process, but it also weakens remaining teeth and can cause changes in your facial structure due to bone loss and jaw shrinkage.

Without support from your jaw and teeth, facial skin also begins to sag, which can make you appear much older than you are.

Missing teeth can affect your psychological health

Imperfections in your smile can greatly decrease your self-confidence and self-esteem, which may lead to social isolation. Missing teeth certainly don’t alter your true value or worth, but you may find it tough to smile or engage in conversation when you have visible gaps in your teeth.

When gaps in your smile also make it difficult to speak clearly or pronounce words correctly, you may find yourself avoiding social activities. When you keep your smile and your thoughts to yourself because of missing teeth, you may also find it tough to establish healthy work relationships, and that can interfere with your career goals.

You don’t have to live with gaps in your smile. Schedule an appointment with us at Farhoumand Dentistry today to discuss options for replacing your missing teeth. Just call our office or click the “book online” button.

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