Most people won't hesitate to replace a missing front tooth, whether by using a dental implant, denture or having a bridge put in. After all, a missing front tooth is noticeable when you smile or eat, so people naturally want to have the gap filled in. In contrast, it's often hard for people to spot a missing back tooth, so people are less motivated to have the gap filled in using one of the methods listed above.
However, there are more reasons to replace a lost tooth than the aesthetic ones regardless of where that tooth is in the mouth. Here are just three reasons why even your back teeth need to be replaced.
1. Proper Chewing
Back teeth tend to have much larger and flatter surfaces than front teeth. This is because they are used to grind down hard food. If you eat something tough, such as steak, you'll find yourself chewing it more with your back teeth in order to break it down enough for swallowing. If the back teeth aren't there, you won't be able to chew properly.
This doesn't just mean taking longer to chew pieces of food — it actually damages the teeth that are left. When back teeth are missing, the front teeth will end up being placed under more stress than they were designed for. That can result in pain in the gums and jaw muscles as well as the damage to the teeth.
2. Reducing Drift
Most people imagine that teeth stay in place once they are fully grown in, and this will usually be the case. However, teeth can start to move if gaps open up. Should a tooth at the back be lost, the teeth or tooth next to it will begin to slowly move into the empty space or tip towards the gap since there will be no pressure holding it back. Back teeth are larger, so the gaps they leave once removed from the mouth are more likely to cause issues.
At the very least, this will cause a change in the way your teeth lie, possibly causing crookedness. However, too much movement can mean that a tooth isn't able to be used properly during chewing, and you'll find it harder to have a denture, bridge or implant fitted to correct the problem since the natural gap left when the old tooth went will now be partially filled.
3. Preventing Bone Loss
When a tooth comes out, the bone that lies underneath it actually begins to lose volume. When this occurs, the shape of your face will start to change. The cheeks will be particularly affected as time goes by, gradually becoming less full as the supporting structure beneath them melts away. The surrounding gum tissue will also decrease in volume, which can inhibit your ability to speak and chew normally.
If you've lost a tooth or suspect you will soon, make sure you make an appointment at a local dental clinic.
You may have heard that cavities and oral decay are linked to things like heart disease, and, in fact, your oral health affects your entire body. Hi! My name is Brenda, and I like to look at things holistically. Because of that, I created this blog. I plan for its posts to look at the link between dental issues and other health issues. I hope that the people who visit this blog learn a few tips about oral care as well as gaining a deeper understanding of why it's so important. Healthy smiles indicate a healthy body, and I hope this blog helps you achieve both!