When teeth are missing, a fixed bridge can be a good choice for replacing them. A dental bridge is a great way to maintain a stable bite and restore your beautiful smile. It can also prevent a chain reaction of problems from happening, including:
- Shifting teeth
- Difficulty keeping teeth free of plaque and bacteria
- Loss of bone in the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
- Grinding and clenching
- Pain in the jaw joint, the TMJ
Missing teeth need to be replaced because they need each other for support. When you lose a tooth, the biting forces change on the teeth next to the space, causing the teeth to shift. In addition, the opposing teeth no longer have anything to chew against, so they may begin to extrude out of their sockets. These changes create places around the teeth that are hard to keep clean, so plaque and bacteria accumulate quickly. This accumulation can cause tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Changes in your bite can also put improper chewing forces on the shifted teeth, and this can lead to loose teeth and loss of jawbone, especially when periodontal disease is already present in your mouth. An uneven bite makes it harder to chew your food and may lead to grinding and clenching. A bad bite can also create painful problems with your jaw joint, the TMJ.
To determine if a bridge is right for you, we will need to perform a thorough examination to make sure that the surrounding teeth are healthy and can provide a strong foundation for a bridge. The exam often includes taking digital x-rays and probing around the teeth to check for periodontal disease.
There are several kinds of bridges, so we will talk with you about the best type for your situation. Call McGue Dental Care today to get started on restoring a healthy and beautiful smile!