Why you need to act quickly to replace a missing tooth

Why you need to act quickly to replace a missing tooth

Have you lost one or more teeth? When a child loses a tooth, it’s cause for celebration and is an important rite of passage. For an adult however the loss of a tooth is less than charming, and it can actually be a serious health concern. Loss of one of more teeth in an adult is most often the result of trauma or decay. While there are many restorative options to continue, many people forego pursuing treatment and opt to live with the gap in their smile.

Whether you’ve lost your tooth as the result of an injury or your dentist removed a badly decayed tooth, it’s important to consider the gap left behind. More than having an impact on your self-esteem, the gap in your smile can lead to a number of other dental and general health concerns that you may not have yet considered.

If it has been some years since you lost a tooth, you should not delay a consultation with your dentist so that you can look into your available tooth replacement options.

Concerns with Speech

Each of the teeth in our mouth plays an important role in our speech. Any missing teeth, or even the loss of just one tooth, can lead to difficulties enunciating correctly. Dental patients who have lost teeth may sound like they are slurring their words, making whistling sounds that accompany speech, and they may even spit when they speak.

In time a person may adjust the way that he or she speaks with those gaps left behind by extracted teeth. However most will continue to sound like they are slurring or making whistling sounds. This leads to further loss of confidence and will effect your life in more ways than one.

Loss of Bone in the Jaw

Perhaps one of the most concerning consequences of not replacing a missing tooth is the loss of bone that can occur in the jaw. When we chew and apply pressure to the teeth in our mouth, it helps to stimulate and support our jawbones. Think of this as being very similar to the same way that working out can help us to stimulate and support healthy muscles in our bodies.

Teeth that are missing leave a gap, yes. But they also leave behind jaw bone that is no longer getting that same pressure and stimulation that helps to promote healthy bone tissue. Just as muscles that are not used can become atrophied, so can the bone in your jaw atrophy.

So how can dental implants help? The titanium post that is used to provide the artificial root for a prosthetic tooth will fuse with the jaw bone. This will provide your bone with that same support and stimulation that your natural tooth did.

A dental implant will support the prosthetic tooth and restore your smile. But it will also very much help to support the bone in your jaw to keep it healthy.


Shifting Teeth, Shifting Smiles

As you know, when you lose a tooth or a tooth is extracted, it leaves behind a gap. What you may not know is that the longer that the gap is there, the more time your other teeth will have to gradually shift.

Our teeth are attached firmly to our jawbone, but they retain the ability to move around gradually. This is why braces and other orthodontia techniques are able to provide such great successes.

When you do have a gap in your smile, your teeth will shift toward the gap. Your once straight smile can quickly become crooked and problematic for you.

With a dental implant in place, you can avoid the shifting of your teeth and retain that great straight smile.

Bite Irregularities

Those missing teeth can lead to irregularities in your bite. While this may not sound like it holds the potential for being serious, there are some things for you to consider. Irregularities in your bite can have an impact on your healthy remaining teeth, and also on your gums. Your jaw muscles can also be impacted by a bite that is just off.

An improper bite can be the start of a road that includes headaches, uneven wear on your teeth, sensitivity in teeth, and even the loss of other teeth that were once otherwise healthy. You may find that it starts to become harder to eat some of your favourite foods. Loosing molars can impact your ability to chew correctly, while missing front teeth can make it harder for you to take those healthy bites. Restoring your bite with a dental implant can help to keep more serious issues at bay and help you to keep on enjoying your favourite meals.

Loss of Facial Structure

Did you know that your teeth and your healthy jaw bone help to support the structure of your face and can have an impact on your overall facial aesthetics? Not only can missing teeth cause the appearance of premature ageing all on their own, the atrophied bone in your jaw can lead to your face taking on a sunken and prematurely aged appearance.

Have you ever seen the way that someone’s facial structure changes almost immediately when they remove a set of dentures? Your missing teeth can result in very similar facial aesthetics. It may take several years for the severest of issues to become noticeable, but you may be surprised to learn that fine lines and other facial sagging can start to become an issue in a relatively short period of time. Your dental implants will help to keep your jaw bone healthy, support the structure of your face, and help to keep you looking and feeling your best. The sooner that you can replace missing teeth with dental implants the sooner you’ll be able to avoid some of the complications that can arise from the loss of those teeth. Speak to us today about dental implants, even before you undergo an extraction. If it has been some time since you lost the tooth, you may still have some great options available to you. Even bone loss can be countered with surgical procedures that replace missing bone with grafts. It’s never too late to restore your smile and keep your mouth and whole body as healthy as is possible.

Written by : Dr. Tom Munroe


Milltown Centre,
Bóthar Bhaile an Mhuilinn,
Dublin 6

Eircode: D06 E8W2
View Map

Office Hours: 01 260 3741
Emergency: 086 801 2940


Opening Hours:
Monday 08:30 - 17:30
Tuesday 08:30 - 13:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 17:30
Thursday 08:30 - 17:30
Friday 08:30 - 13:00