Having a missing tooth can cause you to feel self-conscious and may lead to a loss of self esteem. But while having a missing tooth might not be pretty, there are other risks, some of which may lead to deeper health concerns.
The Bacteria Breeding Ground
You’re most likely aware that the majority of bacteria in your mouth resides in areas that can’t be easily seen or reached. When you’ve lost a tooth, this bacteria has a perfect new home. The dark caverns that are left behind when you lose your tooth are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria which can lead to cavities, gum disease, and decay. You may also find that food can easily become stuck or trapped in the area left behind from the tooth, leading to bad breath and additional increases in bacteria.
People who are missing teeth, especially molars, will find that their bite shifts as one side of their mouth must function to compensate for the inability to chew on one side. This invariably leads to an increase in jaw pain and stiffness and over time you may develop TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder typically causes jaw pain, clicking or popping, muscular headaches, shifting teeth and can limit your jaw opening.
As time goes on, the teeth that surround the tooth gap will begin to shift, attempting to fill in the area that’s left behind. This will cause increased gaps between your other teeth and your shifting teeth may begin to tilt or twist as they proceed. When this occurs, your ability to eat will be further compromised and your odds of developing TMJ disorder will also arise.
A big part of bone strength depends on stimulation. Your jaw bone supports your teeth and the little vibrations and stress due to the contact of your teeth compels your bone to stay strong and resilient. It’s similar to your muscles getting stronger as you workout.
When you lose teeth, your bone stops receiving these small vibrations and stressors and you begin to lose bone density, such as width, height, and bone mass. Within the first year, you might see a reduction of as much as 25 percent of the width of the bone. As you can imagine, this bones loss will cause aesthetic problems, in addition to problems with eating, speaking, and pain.
Treating Your Missing Tooth and TMJ Disorder
Fortunately, at Pasadena Pain Management, we’re able to treat problems brought on by missing teeth, such at TMJ disorders, as well as replace the missing teeth.
For a tooth replacement, dental implants are the #1 choice. Because of the way that dental implants are designed, they will function exactly like natural teeth, protect you from bone loss, and their realistic appearance can help you get your confidence back.
For TMJ treatment, we utilize a number of different technologies and therapies to treat pain associated with your TMJ. One of the more successful TMJ treatments is called DTR — Disclusion Time Reduction. This computer-guided TMJ pain treatment is only offered by a handful of health professionals in the United States. DTR is proven to be much faster and more permanent than other traditional TMJ pain treatments, such as mouthguards and appliances.
Call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION if you’re in pain, or have a missing tooth.
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers sleep apnea and pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.