Dental decay, gum disease or injury may result in the loss of a natural tooth. It is important to visit your dentist regularly to catch any signs of disease early in order to prevent tooth loss.
Importance of natural teeth
Your teeth support your health and well-being. Missing teeth may affect the comfort and function of your mouth, your ability to eat a variety of nutritious foods as well as your speech. Gaps in the mouth can also cause esthetic changes as teeth shift to fill in the missing space. Watch the video on tooth loss to learn more.
Replacing missing teeth
In the event that you lose a tooth or need to have a tooth extracted it is recommended to replace the missing tooth. Tooth replacement options include a bridge, a partial denture and a dental implant.
In the event that a young child loses a tooth, a space maintainer may be recommended to 'hold' the place for the permanent tooth growing below. If this is not done, the baby teeth may shift, blocking the permanent tooth from growing in straight. This may affect the bite and further treatment, such as orthodontics, may be recommended to restore function to the mouth.
Prevention - what you can do
- Eat a well balanced diet
- Brush twice daily and floss at least once a day to protect your teeth and gums
- Don't smoke
- Visit your dentist regularly for an examination to diagnose disease early and prevent more complex treatment in the future