If you think that tooth loss is nothing more than just a cosmetic issue, think again. While the dark void between your teeth can definitely have a massive impact on the appearance of your smile, missing teeth also have wide-ranging effects on your oral health. Taking too long to have them replaced by your dentist in Whitter, NC, only makes these issues worse.  

What Are the Problems Connected To Missing Teeth?

Poor Nutrition

Since your teeth are made for chewing, losing them can result in lower intakes of nutritious foods that are difficult to eat. These include fruits and vegetables. Aside from inducing poor dietary practices, missing teeth can also make it difficult for your body to digest food.  

Shifting Teeth

Whether you like it or not, losing a tooth causes neighboring teeth to shift towards the empty space. As your existing teeth gap or crowd each other, they can cause long-term issues that include a painful bite misalignment. Additionally, when teeth start to collide, more plaque builds up on the surfaces of your teeth because they become more difficult to floss.  

Speech Problems

Your oral structures including your lips, tongue, cheeks, vocal tract and teeth play a crucial role in producing speech. Each time you speak, these structures coordinate with your muscles. For this reason, your speech will become affected when one of these oral structures fails to function as it should.

Losing a tooth or several of them can significantly impact your ability to articulate strident sounds that require the friction of airflow being pressed against your teeth. Examples of words that feature strident sounds include fish, gym, zoo, sew, chin, shoe, vet.  

Moreover, missing teeth can also make it difficult for you to articulate certain words from the front of your mouth, right between your upper and lower lip. This is particularly true for both voiced and voiceless sounds including “th” in “the” or “thirst.”  

Bone Loss  

Your jawbone needs to be stimulated by the roots of your teeth to maintain its form and density. If you lose your teeth and they’re left unreplaced, your body reabsorbs your jawbone. Bone resorption can significantly change your facial structure by making you look a lot older than your actual age.

What Are the Solutions To Missing Teeth?

Dental Implants

Dental implants are tiny titanium screws that are surgically placed into your jawbone to replace the roots of your missing teeth. Since they’re secure and stable, they look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. With proper care and maintenance, you can expect your dental implants to last a lifetime.


When dental implants aren’t an option or if you prefer to wear removable false teeth, dentures make an excellent tooth-replacement option. They’re specifically designed to fit snugly with the size and shape of your jaw.  


If you have one or a few teeth missing, you may want to use a custom-made fixed restoration called a dental bridge. This is made up of porcelain or ceramic artificial teeth called pontics that are attached to the surrounding teeth for support.

Are You Looking for a Dentist in Whittier, NC?

The highly skilled team of dental professionals at Cataloochee Dental Group offers a wide range of services to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile. Contact our office today to schedule your first appointment.