Missing Teeth

What Is A Missing Tooth?

An adult should have 28 teeth, assuming that the wisdom teeth have been removed. If any of the remaining teeth are lost or missing, it would create a gap in the dental arch.

What Are The Causes Of A Missing Tooth?

​Some people are born without one or more teeth. Less common, congenital conditions, such as ectodermal dysplasia, are another reason people are born without a tooth. The most common cause of tooth loss is caries (or cavities). Periodontal or gum disease is the second cause. Additionally, teeth may be lost due to trauma or accidentally biting down on a hard food.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Missing Tooth?

Missing teeth can lead to difficulty chewing food, speech problems, loss of facial vertical height, narrowing of mid-face and a shift in other teeth. If a tooth is suddenly fractured, severe pain will be noticed when chewing food.

What Are The Risk Factors Of An Extracted Tooth?

Bruxism (grinding) can fracture healthy teeth. Teeth with large fillings or root canals that do not have a crown (cap) are at risk of fracturing. Uncontrolled diabetes and poor oral hygiene can also contribute to tooth loss.

How Is A Broken Tooth Diagnosed?

Clinical examination along with radiographs are helpful to diagnose diseases of the mouth.

What Are The Possible Treatments For A Missing or Broken Tooth?

Missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants.

Are There Preventative Steps Or Measures To Avoid A Missing Tooth?

Besides congenital conditions, tooth loss can be prevented by visiting your dentist regularly to prevent gum disease. X-rays should be taken to catch the small cavities and restore them before they become larger.

What Are The Risks If A Missing Tooth Is Left Untreated?

Missing teeth cause adjacent teeth to shift and cause malocclusion. The smile is affected if any of the front 8 teeth are missing. Speech and facial aesthetics can be changed if multiple teeth are missing. The best treatment is to restore the area with an implant as soon as possible. If untreated, the jaw bone becomes narrow and eventually more expensive to reconstruct.

Key Takeaways

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is a good way to avoid tooth loss. Additionally, medical conditions like diabetes should be monitored and kept under control. A night guard should be worn if bruxism exists. To be able to chew better and have a beautiful smile, missing teeth should be restored. Options include removable dentures, cemented bridge or dental implants. It is best to restore the space as soon as possible to avoid shifting of other teeth and narrowing of the jaw bone.

Meet Dr. Majid Jamali

Dr. Jamali, a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, practices a full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery with expertise ranging from dental implant surgery and wisdom tooth removal to corrective jaw surgery. This also includes techniques designed to rebuild bone structure with minimal surgical intervention and optimal patient comfort. We can also diagnose and treat facial pain, facial injuries, and fractures. Learn More »

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