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Consequences of Tooth Loss

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Contrary to what many people assume, the appearance of your smile isn’t all that’s affected when you lose one or multiple teeth. In actuality, tooth loss can have a significant impact on your overall oral health—and even your entire facial aesthetic. To be a bit more specific, each of the following issues can occur when missing teeth go unreplaced:

  • Shifting of Remaining Teeth – When a tooth is missing, adjacent teeth will begin to shift into the space left by the former tooth, sometimes even tilting and/or rotating in a way that negatively affects your bite. If severe enough, this could lead to chewing problems and TMJ complications.
  • Bone Deterioration and Gum Recession – Bone and gum tissue in the space left by an absent tooth can begin to deteriorate and recess due to lack of stimulation that was once provided by the tooth’s roots. This can eventually compromise the strength of surrounding teeth, causing them collapse or even dislodge completely.
  • An Aged Look – Missing teeth and jawbone deterioration can actually shorten the height of your face, causing you to appear older than you are. In addition, your cheeks can become hollow and droopy due to the insufficient support provided from inside the mouth, further contributing to an aged appearance.

Fortunately, individuals who are missing teeth have several solutions that can help prevent the potential consequences associated with tooth loss, one of which is dental implants. Designed to mimic a natural tooth root, this advanced restoration works to preserve bone density by fusing to the jawbone and becoming a permanent part of the mouth. Once fused, a customized crown can be secured in place of the former tooth to complete the restoration with long-lasting, natural-looking results. In the event several teeth are missing, dental implants can be used to support dentures or bridges, providing excellent stability for chewing, speaking, and smiling.

Ultimately, the key takeaway is to be cognizant of the fact that tooth loss is not simply an aesthetic issue. By seeking treatment for a missing tooth (or teeth) now, you can help significantly diminish the potential for more severe problems later down the road.

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