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I Have Missing Teeth

Our teeth are something many of us take for granted - after the onset of late childhood and the appearance of our adult teeth, we tend to forget that although they feel sturdy and unyielding, they are very much a part of the delicate ecosystem of our bodies, just as susceptible to wear, tear, damage, and neglect as the rest of the tissues and structures in our mouths. There are many ways to lose a tooth and, fortunately, nearly as many to recover in the aftermath.

Losing an adult tooth is not a normal, natural event; they are meant to last from the time they grow in until the end of our lives, although in most cases, this does not happen. The most common cause of tooth loss in adults is physical trauma - an avulsed tooth can occur when a physical blow is sustained to the mouth, such as in the case of somebody getting into a fight or participating in contact sports without using a mouthguard. Tooth decay is the next prevailing cause; in cases of extreme negligence in regard to dental maintenance and proper oral hygiene can cause teeth to rot from the inside out, weakening their integrity and making your mouth unable to hold them in place sustainably; poor nutrition can contribute to this and bring about the same result. Individuals who refuse to see a dentist regularly for financial reasons or simply out of personal choice are especially susceptible to this fate. Old age was often a source of tooth loss in the past, but as modern dental and periodontal care progresses and information regarding how best to maintain the teeth becomes more accessible to patients, this is becoming less and less common as years go on.

No matter what the root cause of the problem is, the loss of a tooth can have many secondary consequences on one's life aside from the obvious. A missing tooth can have adverse effects on one's ability to chew and one's patterns of speech as a valuable chewing surface is lost and the tongue gives up an essential point of contact with which to form vowels and consonants. Not only that, but the gap also poses the more pertinent risk of becoming a sinkhole for the rest of the remaining teeth, causing them to gradually shift toward the void with nothing to hold them firmly in place if no measures against this phenomenon are taken. Nocturnal bruxism can result, as well, as the loss of a tooth may make your mouth unable to find a natural, comfortable resting position as you sleep.

Fortunately, for adults who have lost one or more teeth, there are paths to recovery. A dental bridge is one common, non-invasive option for those seeking inexpensive, relatively immediate relief; a false tooth is held in place by two dental crowns placed over the teeth immediately adjacent to the one lost. Partial or a full set of dentures are another viable way of regaining the use of your teeth, and are generally recommended for older patients who have lost many over the course of years. Dental implants, surgically implanted directly into the jawbone, are a way of replacing teeth that require no external support systems and are suitable for all cases, whether only one tooth must be replaced or many at once.

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