Missing teeth are a nuisance in many ways, but we often find that people are primarily disappointed with the way a missing tooth looks rather than the health issues a missing tooth can cause over time. While nobody wants a gap in their smile, the reality is that this issue extends well beyond the aesthetic, and that means San Francisco, CA cosmetic dentistry services like those provided at Dr. Robert M. Walley’s office is imperative not only to return a smile to its former glory but also to prevent certain other health issues from arising.


5 Dental Effects of a Missing Tooth


What types of problems can missing teeth cause? The following is a list of impacts this problem can have on your health:


#1 Bone Loss


Failure to replace a missing tooth is the leading cause of jaw bone loss. You need teeth to help stimulate and support the bone in your jaw, so if there are teeth missing, you won’t always be able to do that, possibly leading to bigger issues with the bone density in your jaw.


#2 Oral Infections


Having missing teeth also can lead to nasty infections in your mouth, especially near the site of the missing tooth or teeth. Worse, an infection that starts in your mouth can spread to the rest of your body and cause serious issues, the worst of which is septic blood that can prove to be fatal.


#3 Trouble Chewing


Just like toddlers who have lost teeth can’t ever seem to eat food the way it was intended to be eaten, an adult with missing teeth is going to have the same problems. It can be difficult to bite, chew, and grind, making eating much more annoying and frustrating than it should be.


#4 Chronic Headaches


Furthermore, changing the way you bite and chew can lead to chronic headaches and even migraines. While there are many dental problems that can lead to these types of headaches, tooth loss is one of the more common ones since your changing bite patterns can lead to a chain reaction that ultimately ends with pain in your head.


#5 Increased Risk of Cavities


Opening up huge gaps in your smile also means opening up huge vulnerabilities to cavities. Rather than lining up neatly against other teeth, exposed teeth make themselves more vulnerable to plaque and tartar, and bacteria that ultimately causes cavities. Simply replacing the gap with a false tooth lowers this risk exponentially.


Replacing Missed Teeth at Dr. Walley’s Office


If you’ve heard enough and now want to undergo the replacement of a missing tooth at Dr. Walley’s office, we are happy to help. From bridges to implants, we offer customers in San Francisco same-day restorations and long-term options for patients that need to have their missing teeth replaced.


Please call us to set up a consultation so we can start the process of making your smile whole and protecting you from some of these other health problems that can present as a result of missing teeth.


Bruxism is more than simply a nuisance or inconvenience. This commonly experienced dental condition can truly wreak havoc on your smile if left unaddressed. That is why our San Francisco dentists have put together this short overview of bruxism, what it is and what you can do about it.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a dental condition characterized by tooth-on-tooth grinding or clenching. Basically, patients with bruxism grind and clench their teeth, putting an enormous amount of strain on their temporomandibular joints as well as their teeth.

What Causes It?

Bruxism can be caused or exacerbated by:

  • Stress and tension
  • TMJ damage
  • Poor bite alignment
  • Poorly constructed or old and worn down dental restorations

How Does Bruxism Affect My Smile?

The first thing that many patients notice about bruxism is that it causes their jaws to hurt or feel stiff. You may also experience headaches upon waking, as well as neck pain.

As time goes on, and bruxism becomes more problematic, it may find that it is more difficult to move your jaw freely. Many patients develop clicking or popping noises in their temporomandibular joints. Plus, the tooth-on-tooth contact that results from bruxism will thin your dental enamel, and cause cracks and chips in your teeth.

What Kinds of Treatments Are Available?

Our San Francisco dental team treats bruxism at its source. We want to correct the underlying dental problem that causes dental grinding, rather than continually fixing dental damage as it occurs.

Orthodontic treatment can be very effective in treating bruxism, because it brings your bite into balance, so that your top and bottom teeth come together evenly and comfortably. It is also possible to improve your bite through the application of customized restorations.

Additionally, there are oral appliances available to both protect your enamel, and to guide your lower jaw into a better, healthier position. These mouth pieces are generally prescribed for nighttime use.

Give our San Francisco dentists a call to learn more about the ins and outs of bruxism. We are here to help you smile confidently for years to come! 


Most of the patients that Dr. Robert M. Walley meets with over the course of a normal day are routine dental visits, whether that be biannual cleanings or simple fillings. However, there are times when dental emergencies arise, and the patient can’t wait weeks or even days to have the issue addressed. When something like that occurs, a San Francisco emergency dentist is the best solution. But what is an emergency dentist, and when, exactly, would a patient need to enlist the services of one?


What is an Emergency Dentist?


Put simply, an emergency dentist is no different from any other dentist except for the fact that they can fix problems that arise unexpectedly. Normally, you’d make a dentist appointment for some far-off time in the future. Cleanings, for example, are typically six months apart. But an emergency dentist will work you in as soon as possible if there’s some problem with your teeth or gums that requires immediate attention.


Reasons to Contact an Emergency Dentist


What types of dental issues would require immediate attention? The following is a list of the most common dental emergencies:


  1. Cracked of chipped enamel
  2. Knocked-out teeth
  3. Gum/oral tissue lacerations
  4. Severe cold sores
  5. Severe infections that are causing swelling and/or pain
  6. Lost or dislodged dental restorations
  7. Broken fillings
  8. Facial trauma that affects your smile


What Kinds of Emergency Procedures are Common?


Should you find yourself in Dr. Walley’s office with a dental emergency, it is possible that he will perform one of the following procedures to correct whatever problem is causing pain or creating issues with your smile:


  • Enamel crack repairs – If a tooth has been damaged unexpectedly (such as in a car accident or sporting accident), we can repair cracks in enamel using one of many common cosmetic dentistry options.
  • Missing tooth replacement – If we can save a tooth, we will, but even if we can’t, there are options available for tooth replacements that are indistinguishable from real teeth.
  • Same-day tooth restoration – Here in San Francisco, same-day tooth restorations are a great option for those whose teeth need crowns. We use same-day CEREC crowns, which are quick and look just like the real thing.
  • Teeth extraction – If a tooth must be extracted as a last resort, we have the equipment and expertise to do so quickly and painlessly.
  • Root canal therapy – Sometimes, trauma to the tooth can require root canal therapy, which also is something Dr. Walley can provide among his emergency dentistry services.


Making an Emergency Appointment with Dr. Walley


If you experience any of the above problems and require immediate dental care, simply give our office a call to set up an appointment. We will make sure to get you in as soon as humanly possible to correct whatever dental emergency you’re experiencing. Whether that means alleviating excruciating pain or saving a traumatized tooth, we’ve got everything we need to help you get everything back to normal in a timely manner. The first step, as always, is just picking up the phone and calling.


Smile Consultation: (415) 944-1072
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