Archive for November 2016
As a dental office, we are just as dissapointed as you are when we are faced with a situation where a tooth must be removed. We are in the business of saving teeth, so when the time comes when we have to extract one, we begin to worry about the remaining teeth and the effect it will have on them. Not everyone understands that losing a tooth effects the other teeth left in the mouth, and it really does! Overtime, missing teeth can result in serious complications if left untreated.
With the human mouth containing 28 teeth (32 if wisdom teeth have not been removed), you can see how some people may believe that it is not essential to replace missing teeth when there are plenty left to do the job. The loss of permanent teeth leads to a whole bunch of other problems if not replaced in a timely manner.
Above is a typical scenario of what happens when even just ONE tooth is extracted and not replaced.
Teeth are arraged in the jaw bone in such a way that they support eachother and help each one take the pressure of chewing. Kind of like a team! When a person loses a tooth, and it isn't replaced, a situation will arise where teeth begin to move out of their recommended position or alignment. Unlike the pain of an absess or a decayed tooth, the damage that is done in the mouth when a tooth is removed is slow, and often painless, so it is easy to understand why a patient might put off treatment for this, or ignore it completely.
Below is a list of things that can happen to the dentition when a missing tooth is not replaced:
- Supraeruption (Over eruption) - When an tooth is lost, say a lower tooth for example, its upper partner will not have no opposing tooth to bite against, and will begin to love this extra room it has and move downward. When it does this, it will lost contact with its neighboring teeth on either side.
- Loss of Contact - You know the place between your teeth where your floss "snaps"? That is called the contact point. That point helps food and debris from getting stuck between your teeth and staying there. When teeth are in alignment with eachother this action works efficiently, but if there is no contact point, you have a much more likely chance of having food and debris hangout between the teeth longer.
- Tipping - When a tooth is lost and not replaced, the tooth behind it now has a vacant area which to tip and move into. While tipping forward, teeth lose contact with their other teeth. As i said above, teeth are designed to touch eachother to prevent food impaction, that can cause tissue damage, gum disease and cavities. If enough of this space is occupied by the tipping tooth then the space will become too small to replace in the future without modifying other teeth
- Bone Loss - Simple as this. Teeth hold bone in your jaw. If a tooth has nothing to hold bone for, it will shrink away quickly. Healthy dense bone is important when considering the placement of implants to replace missing teeth.
So next time instead of choosing the "Just Yank the thing out" option, remember there will be consiquences. Sometimes we don't have a choice when losing a tooth, but sometimes we do. Often when a root canal is needed, the only other option is to extract the tooth. Root canals aren't as bad as they used to be, it's a wonderful way of saving a tooth that has decayed into the nerve. Go for that option next time :)
Crooked or crowded teeth is usually genetic, just like hair colour and eye colour. Other causes may be early loss of baby teeth, severe facial injury, or poor childhood habits, such as thumb sucking or excessive pacifier use.
Here are some reasons how crooked teeth can impact your health:Cause Gum Disease - Developing periodontal, or gum disease is a common ramification of crooked teeth. Gum disease develops when a bacteria in our mouth forms into plaque. The problem accentuates when your gums don't fit securely around your teeth, leaving room for bacteria to grow. This eventually causes bone loss, in turn your teeth become wiggly and eventually will be lost.
Creates Difficulty Cleaning Teeth - Toothbrush bristles and floss have a difficult time reaching the nooks and crannies between crooked teeth, which can lead to bacteria growth.
Creates Tooth Wear - Crowded bottom teeth often cause one or more teeth to protrude and become completely out of alignment. This can cause the upper teeth to rub incorrectly with the lower teeth. Over time this can lead to undue wear of tooth enamel and cause sensitivity.
Causes Bad Breath - Sometimes crooked teeth don't look too bad on certain people, but they can definately cause some stinky breath! Unless you've just eaten a raw onion or a pack of garlic, bad breath is generally caused by lingering mouth bacteria (as well medications and other things). The difficulty in removing all the plaque bacteria from crowded teeth could leave someone with unwanted bad breath.
Can Damage Self Esteem - Several studies have indicated that a straighter toothed smile increases the amount you smile and laugh without covering up your mouth. People with crooked teeth are said to take less pictures, and overall laugh and smile less in public (both are things that create happiness and lower stress levels.) Having crowded teeth may reduce your confidence in your smile, thus reducing how often you show those pearly whites off to the world.
Decreases Overall Health - Few people realize that dental issues can seriously affect more than just their oral health. If your body is fighting off bacteria in your mouth, you won't be as healthy as you would be without this bacteria. Plaque bacteria causes tarter, which causes bone loss and gum disease which can sometimes lead to heart disease.
All in all, i just want to stress that braces aren't just for looks. Straight teeth are much easier to keep clean, and will help with your overall health in the long run :)
Hey Everyone !
I'm going to be writing blogs to keep all of our patients informed and up to date on the dental world.
I want to start by informing everyone about how IMPORTANT it is to have your regular 6 month hygiene check ups. Many people are misinformed or just not educated on the importants of getting that pesky tarter and calculus off of your teeth. Although its not a great feeling while it's getting done, you will feel amazing after:)
Many adults are unaware that the reason for losing teeth as an adult is gum disease, not cavities and decay. Cavities and decay can be fixed, but gum disease only goes one way, and its not the good way. When tartar or calculus are on your teeth (which is hardened plaque only able to be removed by your hygienist) your bone around the roots of the teeth will shrink away. Tartar harbours bacteria, and bone doesn't like bacteria.
As the bone shrinks away, less and less root will be in the bone, causing the teeth to become wiggly and eventually they will not function anymore and have to be removed.
So, as much as we don't like coming to the dentist, remember, it's not cavities and decay that cause adults to lose their teeth, it's not seeing your hygienist every 6 months