- February 1, 2012
WILLIAMSPORT AND COLLEGEVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA- Protecting your face and mouth from injury is imperative if you want to keep your natural teeth for a lifetime.
Although we encourage patients year-round to protect themselves when participating in athletic activities, National Facial Protection Month in April allows us to focus more effort on promoting this message. This year, we’re shedding light on the complications caused by missing teeth.
NFPM is a cooperative effort by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
“First and foremost, we recommend that everyone invests in a quality mouth guard if they participate in sports or other activities where there is a possibility of getting hit in the mouth,” Dr. DiGiallorenzo says. “For those who have lost a tooth due to trauma- or decay, for that matter- we strive to educate them on the importance of replacing that tooth sooner rather than later.”
These are the reasons why:
• A missing tooth not only leaves a space in your smile, it leaves a space in your gum. When eating, the pressure will begin pushing the surrounding teeth into the space, and cause shifting.
• As teeth shift, they can begin to tilt, which can result in pressure on areas of the teeth that aren’t designed to withstand biting forces. This also can put increased pressure on gums and jawbone.
• Missing teeth change your facial profile and often make people look older because the teeth support the lips and cheeks. Missing teeth can leave a person with a “sunken” appearance.
• Teeth that are above or below the area of a missing tooth will begin to grow longer because there is no longer an opposite tooth to help hold it in place.
There are some quite realistic denture treatments available for people who are missing all or most of their teeth. But for those who are missing a single tooth or just a few teeth, dental implants could be an ideal option, says Dr. DiGiallorenzo, who also offers laser periodontal therapy in his practice to help those who suffer from periodontal disease avoid losing their teeth to the disease.
“If you are a candidate for dental implants, this is an excellent way to restore form and function after you’ve lost a tooth,” he says. “We can replace teeth in one visit- simply and painlessly.”
© 2012 Master Google and Dr. David DiGiallorenzo.