Michael Strahan, Madonna, Elton John, Condoleezza Rice, David Letterman … all gap-toothed celebrities who have enjoyed fame and fortune. A small gap between your two front teeth can be adorable and disarming, but when the gap is created by a missing tooth, you’ve got a different look altogether. As much as we appreciate all grins at Reston Serenity Smiles — gap-toothed or otherwise, this is one type that we advise against. Why? That giant gap creates more trouble than it’s worth.
Every Tooth Plays Its Part
When you have a mouth full of teeth, each tooth provides support for the neighboring teeth. When even a single tooth is removed from an arch, things start to get shifty.
What Happens Next
Without the support of adjacent teeth, the remaining teeth begin to shift. If shifting teeth were merely cosmetic, that would be one thing. Who are we to tell you what is or isn’t attractive? The problem is what happens after the teeth begin to shift:
- The teeth eventually shift out of alignment, making it more difficult to chew effectively and speak properly
- Those with misaligned teeth are also more prone to bruxism (grinding)
- Misaligned teeth can also cause jaws to become misaligned, which can lead to headaches, neck aches, ear aches, and painful problems with the temporomandibular (jaw) joint
- The jaw bone loses mass, which makes it harder for remaining teeth to stay anchored
- Other teeth begin to fall out, ultimately changing the shape of your face
While you may be fine with one missing tooth, you’ll change your tune when your face looks sunken in, you wake up with headaches every morning, and you’re limited to a soft food diet.
While dentures and bridges are viable options, the only permanent solution is dental implants. Dental implants are individually placed into your jaw and used to anchor natural-looking prosthetic teeth. The teeth look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. Eat what you want, brush and floss as usual, and be sure to visit the dentist as recommended to avoid any further tooth loss.
If you’re trying to become the next Ron Howard or Anna Paquin, do it without sacrificing your teeth. Contact Reston Serenity Smiles to learn more about tooth loss and replacement options. We serve patients in Reston, Virginia and the surrounding communities. We can’t wait to see your smile.