A lost tooth in virtually any area of the mouth can have significant consequences, and not just to the appearance of an individual’s smile. A single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth can start a chain reaction that endangers surrounding teeth and threatens overall oral health and facial aesthetics to a serious degree. Restorative dentistry options such as dental implants, implant-supported dentures, and other options available from Dr. Arash Azarbal can be ideal treatment options for missing teeth, giving patients ways to reduce the likelihood that the overt and hidden consequences of tooth loss will end up creating more damage later.
Here are some of the possible effects that can be caused by missing teeth:
Jawbone and Gum Recession
Missing teeth can cause the jawbone in that area to gradually break down. When there are no longer natural tooth roots to help stimulate growth in the bone, it can ultimately begin to recede and degrade. This effect can result in the loosening and destabilization of existing teeth that surround the missing teeth, and it may potentially even cause them to completely dislodge. Additionally, periodontal disease and gum recession may follow jawbone recession, creating a new set of problems that can put both oral and general health at risk.
Shifting/Movement of Existing Teeth
When a tooth is lost, the natural inclination of other teeth in the area is to fill the gap that has been left behind. It is not uncommon for natural teeth surrounding the gap to move and shift into a different position, resulting in visible misalignment and potentially creating bite irregularities and new challenges when trying to chew food.
Risks to Overall Health
Since untreated missing teeth can lead to periodontal disease, the body may now be more susceptible to higher general health risks. Gum disease is known to have possible links to a range of serious and even life-threatening conditions, including certain kinds of cancer, dementia, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, and others.
Changes in Facial Appearance
Teeth that are missing in particular areas of the mouth can compromise the proper distance between the nose and the chin, leading to an effect known as “facial collapse.” This can result in significant changes to a person’s facial appearance and make them look older than their actual age.
Fortunately, treatments available to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth can help prevent many of these consequences from happening. If you would like more information on treatments for tooth loss, or if you would like to schedule an appointment at Pasadena Dental Aesthetics, please contact us today.