Hello everyone, I thought this would be a great opportunity to show you what happens when you lose a tooth or do not replace a tooth that has been missing. Patients will tell me that they are just fine with not doing anything about their missing tooth because they are not feeling any pain or discomfort. But the problem is that in most cases what follows is a silent non painful process until it becomes one. So I thought I would show you in the x-ray to the left what can happen. In the picture you can see there is a missing tooth on the bottom and the tooth next to it has started to tilt into the missing space. A healthy tooth is supposed to be situated in an up/down position with no tilting.
A tooth will start to tip into the direction of the space where there is no tooth because nothing is holding it up and as this process happens, food can begin to get stuck in the gums and spaces where the tooth is tilted can cause cause more food traps and lead to gum irritation and inflammation. Furthermore the tooth directly above the missing space has no partner to bite down into and that tooth on top literally starts to erupt into the missing space trying to find a tooth to contact until it finds the tipped lower tooth to push down on and tip even further. This tooth will keep on moving further down into the empy space causing the upper teeth to become misaligned and exposing new parts of the tooth that used to be covered by the gums. This newly exposed root surface is not as strong as enameled tooth structure and is more cavity prone. So we are now introducing further issues of cavities and exposed sensitive root surfaces that used to be protected by the gums. As this process continues and the tooth tips, it can get to a point where there is no opportunity to put a tooth in the missing space anymore because there is simply no room. All this happens without you noticing it until the gums start to become sore or cavities pop up or there is increased sensitivity. By placing an implant in the missing space and putting a crown on the implant and closing the space you can keep your mouth healthy and in balance. If you have missing teeth get it checked out before it's too late even if you are not experiencing any pain or call us anytime at 973-227-9211 for a Dental Implant Consult. We are here to help!