What Are The Consequences Of Losing Teeth?
Although prevention and treatment techniques for tooth loss have improved over the years, it’s still a serious problem — and one that is often overlooked, with consequences that go beyond cosmetics. Often, the tendency of patients is to only prioritize the issue of tooth loss if it’s the front teeth or if the area of the missing tooth is visible. However, that can be a costly mistake. Any tooth loss results in a sort of domino effect that changes the entire mouth over time. Below are some of the consequences of tooth loss that many patients don’t consider.
The Gums Will Suffer from Decay and Disease
The relationship between gum and tooth is crucial to maintaining overall good health within the mouth. The absence of a tooth creates an environment that is ideal for bacteria and gum disease to set in. Known as periodontal disease, this is an affliction that causes even more health issues for the patient. For example, inflamed gums tend to result in detachment from other teeth, which only exacerbate the problem. Plus, gum disease can result in general bad health and unpleasant breath for the patient.
Bones Will Reshape Over Time
Your face holds its shape largely because of the delicate balance of the bones in your face and jaw. This is held in check by the presence of strong, healthy teeth, which help to stimulate growth and stability of the alveolar bone simply by way of regular pressure. When one or more teeth are missing, you lose that valuable function, and the alveolar bone regeneration slows and can become misshapen over the years. The result is a jaw that is shorter in appearance and less able to aid in such functions as chewing and speaking.
Your Teeth Will Become Prone to Drifting
When one tooth is missing, the other surrounding teeth will make use of that empty space — although it might not be to your liking. Teeth tend to drift into openings. In the process, they will turn and tip. The end result can be unsightly, and worse, it can have a serious negative impact on your bite. Further, when your bite is off kilter, you put the wrong kind of pressure on your TMJs (the joints in your jaw), causing significant discomfort and poor functionality.
What Should You Be Doing?
Prevention is crucial, and the first step toward prevention is regular and thorough dental care. Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits can ensure that teeth, gums and the jawbone remain healthy; and in the event of tooth loss, it is important to act quickly in order to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are an excellent way to replace a single tooth. In short, the implant is secured within the gum and then a replacement tooth can be attached. This helps to prevent other teeth from drifting, and it puts the right amount of pressure on the jawbone to prevent deterioration.
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