Losing a tooth isn't an uncommon occurrence. From advanced gum disease to sports injuries, there are lots of reasons why you may say goodbye to one of your teeth. When it happens, you may feel tempted to not replace it. This is especially true when the tooth is out of sight. However, there are lots of good reasons to always replace missing teeth.

Sunken Cheek Syndrome

One of the lesser-known roles of your teeth is that they support your cheeks and give your face some structure. As such, when one of them goes missing, it may make your cheek look slightly sunken on one side. Depending on the size of the tooth or the rest of your face's bone structure, this can become quite visible. You may want to ask your dentist about dental implants, as they can act as a long-lasting solution that supports your cheek. 

Other Teeth Migrate

Each one of your teeth provides support to the teeth surrounding them. Over time, your teeth may move to one side and migrate into the gap. While this won't have an immediate effect on your aesthetics, it can gradually result in a smile that is crooked. This could mean that you require braces later in life to correct your smile.

Extra Strain on Remaining Teeth

Losing one tooth means that the rest of your teeth begin to pick up the strain. For example, when you lose one at the back, your other teeth will spend more time chewing. This may not result in immediate wear and tear, but it could mean that they weaken faster than they normally would. By replacing one tooth now, you could find that you avoid replacing multiple teeth later.

A Potential Impact on Your Speech 

A single missing tooth may not play that big a role in your speech sounding unusual. But several teeth could make it harder for you to pronounce certain words. Additionally, having several teeth missing means you're more likely to make whistling sounds as you talk. If losing more than one tooth results in alignment problems, this could mean your speech difficulties get worse as time goes on.

Fortunately, your dentist has lots of options when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Dentures and bridges are particularly popular, as they're strong and long-lasting solutions that require little ongoing care. If you're missing a tooth and you want to replace it, make an appointment with your dentist.