A lost tooth can cause multiple problems in your mouth, including dental migration, mastication issues, and jawbone atrophy. Since each tooth helps to keep adjacent teeth in position by occupying the space needed for movement, once a tooth is lost, the nearby teeth can start to shift out of place. This shifting can lead to a noticeable misalignment that may require an orthodontic treatment for correction.
Proper mastication can be interrupted by a missing tooth. Many people tend to chew on one side of the their mouth more often, and if a tooth that is normally used heavily in mastication is lost, chewing may be less thorough, leading to digestive problems and possible nutritional deficiencies.
Also, the teeth are needed to maintain the health of the jawbone. As you chew, the pressure involved in biting and chewing is transferred to the roots of the teeth and then to the jawbone. The stimulating pressure encourages the jawbone to produce new cells that help maintain the thickness of the bone.
If you have lost a permanent tooth, your dentist may have given you several restorative options to replace your missing tooth, including a dental bridge. Here is a bit of information about dental bridges to help you learn what to expect from them.
A dental bridge is comprised of a false replacement tooth and one or more dental crowns. The device is held in place as the dental crowns are bonded to the abutment teeth.
To ensure that a bridge fits in your mouth as it should, a mold or impression of your oral cavity is taken. This mold is used to guide the construction of the bridge, allowing the false tooth to fit seamlessly into place.
The abutment teeth, which lie adjacent to the space left by the lost natural tooth, must be prepared before being covered by the bridge crowns. A bit of tooth material is removed from the abutment teeth so that the crowns fit over the teeth without altering the natural bite line.
A dental bridge is considered permanent, but the bridge should still be brushed and cleaned regularly. If plaque is allowed to build up on and around the bridge, the gums may become inflamed, inciting gum disease. A special flossing tool or an oral irrigator may be used to remove debris that becomes trapped between the top of the false tooth and the gums.
To learn more about dental bridges, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area, such as at Pembroke Pines Dental.