Do you have missing or broken teeth? Especially if you still have the majority of your natural teeth, you may feel like you’re faring pretty well so you may not see the need to replace them. But just because you don’t need full dentures doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need to replace the teeth that are missing. In fact, failing to do so can have a significant impact on your oral and physical health.
Partial Dentures and Implant Dentures
Full dentures are typically what you think of when you picture false teeth, but the reality is that there are more options available – especially if you only have a few teeth missing. Partial dentures are removable and will fill in the gaps; they are available in traditional hard resin or as flexible partial dentures. Implant dentures are also an option to replace a single tooth or a few teeth. These are a permanent option as they are affixed to the jaw bone and not removable.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Dentures
If you choose not to replace your missing tooth or teeth, you may experience the following:
- Misaligned Teeth. When you have a gap in your mouth that was previously filled, the teeth around it may shift into the space, causing your teeth to become misaligned.
- Damage to Healthy Teeth. As your healthy teeth shift into the gap, the roots can be weakened. This can affect the health and integrity of the surrounding teeth and can even result in further tooth loss. You will also likely be compensating in your bite for the missing teeth, which can cause over-use and weakening of healthy teeth in other parts of your mouth.
- Bone Loss. When a tooth is no longer anchored in the jaw bone, the bone may begin to deteriorate. A dental implant is one of the best ways to prevent this occurrence if you are missing a single tooth.
- Deteriorating Health. If you have missing or broken teeth it is difficult to eat a full array of healthy, nutritious foods. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies over time which can affect your overall health. Without proper nutrition you can develop serious medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.
- Headaches. If you regularly chew on one side of your mouth because you are unable to chew on the other, this uneven use of muscles can cause chronic, persistent headaches.