Tooth loss has an obvious consequence of compromising the appearance of a person’s smile. However, the loss of a tooth can have more serious repercussions when it comes to overall oral health. Using specialized techniques such as dental implants, however, an oral surgeon can take steps to safeguard the patient’s smile and also enhance and protect their dental health.
When a tooth is lost, the remaining teeth naturally gravitate towards the space left behind. This shifting in position of teeth can cause changes in the way the person speaks, and also alters the position and strength of their bite. As a result, some foods that were previously enjoyed prior to tooth loss may result in eating difficulties; while there may also be added pressure on the jaw joints and muscles, which in turn may lead to temporomandibular disorder (TMJ) and headaches.
The health of the remaining teeth could be jeopardized by the failure to replace a missing tooth with dental implants. A natural tooth provides stimulus to the jaw bone and gum tissue, which promotes healthy tissue growth and so helps keep the teeth’s’ foundations strong.
When the stimulus is lost as a result of losing a tooth, the gum tissue can begin to recede and shrink. This causes the roots of the teeth to become exposed, opening the way for bacteria to enter the structure of the teeth and attack the tooth’s delicate tissues.
Bone tissue can also begin to deteriorate as a result of lost stimulus. As a result, the jaw bone begins to get thinner and lighter, and facial appearance can alter as the jaw becomes smaller. The loss of bone tissue can makes it more challenging for the oral surgeon to perform dental implant treatment, as dental implants require a good quantity of quality bone tissue in order to be successful.
A full set of teeth also helps to maintain the person’s overall facial structure and jaw alignment. Gaps that occur as a result of missing teeth can cause the muscles in the cheek to begin to weaken and sag, which results in the person’s appearance becoming more pinched and drawn, making them look older.
And, of course, having a compromised smile also saps many people of their own self confidence, making them less likely to smile and worry about their appearance, especially in social situations. This lack of confidence may make the individual avoid social interaction altogether.
To learn more about the consequences of tooth loss, contact the office of Dr. Stephen Weisglass at 718-544-8787 and schedule your consultation today.