Many patients do not realise the impact a missing tooth has on their health and the focus is generally around cosmetic issues where this is concerned.
- Unseen effects of tooth loss to your facial structure – Missing teeth affect the function of your jaw as well as your facial aesthetics. This is less to do with your teeth and more to do with the lack of stimulation of the jawbone. The alveolar bone surrounds and supports your teeth and when the does not receive the stimulation it needs (which comes from the teeth themselves) it begins to cause bone loss to the area. There is even a 25% reduction in the width of the bone during the first year after you lose a tooth and a 4 millimetre decrease in height over the following 4 years. As this continues, gum tissue is also lost which can affect the way you speak and chew.
- Bite collapse – Your back teeth are responsible for supporting the height of your face – missing teeth can cause something known as ‘bite collapse’ which occurs when your back teeth are missing. In turn, your front teeth can get pushed forward into an unnatural position where they are made to be responsible for supporting your front teeth – they do not have the strength to do this which then leads to bite collapse.
- Change to facial structure– Missing teeth can cause other features such as lips and cheeks to ‘sag’, changing your facial aesthetics which can leave you feeling low in confidence. When teeth are not present, your tongue expands into the vacant space which causes your face to ‘collapse’.
- More risk of developing gum disease or tooth decay – Vacant spaces in your mouth are an excellent breeding ground for bacteria in the form of plaque and tartar. The sooner you replace a missing tooth, the less chance you have of this developing into periodontitis.
Implants for replacing missing teeth
Dental implants are the next best thing to a natural tooth, as they are designed to fuse with your jawbone, becoming a permanent part of your body. Dental implants do not encompass the hassle of removable dentures which can cause discomfort during social situations – you can also maintain dental implants in the same way as natural teeth.
If you would like more information about replacing missing teeth, please do not hesitate to contact us.