Health & Medical Dental & Oral

Why You Should Replace Missing Teeth

Many people choose to live with gaps in their smiles rather than see a dentist in Melbourne, Florida. Learn why replacing missing teeth is more important than you may realize.

When you laugh spontaneously, does your hand fly to your mouth in an effort to cover those embarrassing gaps? If so, you have probably considered seeing a dentist in Melbourne Florida. Aesthetic enhancement is one of the most common reasons that people choose to have missing teeth replaced. Unfortunately, many are unaware that missing teeth invite a host of other health problems.


The most noticeable effect of missing teeth is difficulty chewing. You may have to give up some of your favorite foods, and experience discomfort when eating. This can also cause digestive problems. During the chewing process, food is broken down physically and chemically. Your teeth grind large particles into smaller ones, and mix the food with saliva. The digestive enzymes in saliva begin converting starch to a digestible form of sugar.

When you cannot chew properly, the particles are often too large for your digestive system to handle efficiently, and they are not mixed well with saliva. Therefore, it takes more "processing" in the stomach to extract nutrients, resulting in gastrointestinal distress, commonly known as indigestion.

You rarely benefit from the full nutritional value of food when the digestive process is inefficient. Additionally, the healthiest foods (whole grains, fruit, and vegetables) tend to be difficult to chew. Most people who are missing teeth gravitate towards an unhealthy diet of soft, processed foods.

Oral Health

When you first lose a tooth, it may appear to have no impact on the rest of your mouth. In reality, your other teeth are shifting and your jawbone is melting away. These changes take place gradually, and without pain, so you don't even notice what is happening. Over a period of months or years, these subtle changes add up to seriously crooked teeth, and often a receded jawline. Missing teeth also put undue strain on your existing teeth. Your chewing patterns are naturally altered, causing a select few teeth to bear the force of biting pressure. These teeth will wear down faster than normal, and be at greater risk of fracturing. They will also shift more rapidly, due to the excess pressure. As your teeth become misaligned, oral hygiene becomes more time-consuming, and less effective, increasing the risk of decay.

The preferred method of replacing teeth is with dental implants. They are inserted in the jawbone, assuring strength and stability. This also keeps the bone tissue healthy, preventing deterioration. Unlike most restorations, which often fail in as little as five years, dental implants are expected to last a lifetime.

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