The loss of even just a single tooth can have serious consequences—and not just on the appearance of your smile. In fact, there are many other effects that missing teeth can cause when they are not replaced, and these concerns can create severe oral health conditions in addition to changes in your overall facial aesthetic.
Fortunately, our practice offers several advanced restorative dentistry procedures, including dental implants and dental bridges, that can effectively restore missing teeth with results that improve both function and appearance. With that in mind, it’s important to realize some of the risks associated with missing teeth, and what can potentially happen without treatment:
Shifting of Natural Teeth – Whether you are missing one tooth or several teeth, the natural teeth that surround them will gradually start moving into those empty spaces. When this occurs, it can lead to changes in your bite, difficulty chewing, and other concerns.
Jawbone Loss and Gum Recession – Tooth loss can lead to deterioration of the jawbone due to the absence of the tooth’s roots and the growth stimulation they provide. This loss of bone can eventually affect surrounding teeth, ultimately destabilizing them and potentially even completely dislodging them. Once jawbone tissue begins to recede, the gum tissue can recede as well. Gum recession in the area of missing teeth may cause the roots of surrounding teeth to be exposed, increasing the risk of gum disease, infection, and decay.
General Health Concerns – If gum disease results from missing teeth, this can lead to an increased risk of general health conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and other serious concerns.
Alterations in Facial Appearance – Missing teeth can produce changes in facial aesthetics, resulting in sunken cheeks and lips or a “collapsing” effect. Teeth that are missing in certain areas of the mouth may shrink the distance between the nose and the chin, which can affect facial proportions and create a more aged look.
The many potential consequences of tooth loss are why it’s always a good idea to consider restorative dentistry options to replace missing teeth. You may be surprised at just how much of a difference teeth replacement can make for your health, livelihood, and the appearance of your smile!
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