What do I do about missing teeth?
This is question that we get asked very often.
A person may have a missing tooth/teeth for several reasons.
In an adult, the most common causes for missing teeth are severe gum disease, dental decay, or trauma.
The options available to replace your missing tooth are:
What about leaving it as a gap?
Most dentists agree that this option is not a viable one, but it is helpful to know what the risks and benefits are for leaving a space in the mouth.
The only positive thing about leaving a gap is that it gives you time to select a treatment option to replace the teeth.
However, if the teeth is not replaced, it will affect your gums, neighbouring teeth, muscles, bone and jaw joint over time.
The picture above gives a common transition of the teeth when the gap between the teeth is not replaced.
- The surrounding teeth start to tilt/drift into the gap, causing spaces between other teeth to open up. This leads to further risk of decay and gum disease affecting the adjacent teeth
- The opposing tooth starts to over-erupt and “fall” into the gap/space. This causes that opposing tooth to become more sensitive and loose.
- Due to the gap, your chewing efficiency is less on that side. There will now be a natural tendency to favour chewing on the other side. This usually leads to jaw joint pains, clicking and muscle aches. It ultimately affects the teeth on the opposite side as well.