Evolution is an amazing thing. Over the centuries the human body has developed to become a very functional machine, even if it is very intricate. There's a reason why it is so complex and why people should ensure they maintain this functionality as it is. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to your dentition. Why is it important to keep the correct number of teeth in your mouth?
The Importance of a Number
The human being has 32 teeth, exactly. The body has evolved to provide exactly this number for a reason. It's been shown to be the ideal number in order to help the human convert raw material into energy, or to chew and masticate their food so it can be processed properly.
If you find that you have fewer than this number, it's likely that you have lost one or more of them to tooth decay over time. While in an ideal world everybody would avoid this outcome, sometimes it happens. It doesn't mean that you can leave this as it is, though. That tooth needs to be replaced, or problems develop.
What Can Go Wrong
Remember the human body needs the correct number to function properly. If you have less than the recommended number it means that you will not be able to chew as efficiently. You'll find that the teeth surrounding the missing tooth will start to roll inwards, rotate and tilt. All these actions can put pressure on the bone or gums and could lead to issues with those surrounding teeth.
It's also possible that the tooth directly opposite the gap will grow further and faster than those next to it. In this case, you won't be able to close your mouth properly and this can lead to problems with your temporomandibular joint.
Did you also know that the bone immediately surrounding the missing one can denigrate unless you replace the lost tooth? This is because this specific type of bone requires support from the tooth in order to maintain its density.
Over time you'll notice a gradual change in the way that your face appears, if you don't replace missing teeth. This will be due to changes in bone density and adjustments in the way that the teeth function.
It's best for you to consult with your dentist to work out how you can replace missing teeth as soon as possible. You may be able to select an implant or a bridge in order to bring things back to the way Mother Nature intended.