About 180 million Americans are missing one or more of their natural teeth, and over 20% of them have no teeth at all. Dental implants, dentures, and bridges can fill the gaps, but no tooth-replacement system works as well as your natural teeth. That’s one reason why dentists go to such lengths to save teeth, such as root canals, crowns, and veneers.
The team at Allure Dental Care of Maple Lawn wants to ensure that their patients know the complications of adult tooth loss before extraction becomes necessary. Understanding the issues you’ll face once you lose teeth may help you prioritize oral care now, preserving your natural teeth for years to come.
Apart from an injury that damages teeth, periodontal disease is the most obvious cause of tooth loss. If you don’t already have some form of gum disease -- as many as 20% of American adults do -- you may have some risk factors that raise the chances of developing a problem in the future. These risks include:
Once a tooth is pulled and the wound heals, you may find little problem adapting. With more than one extraction, it may take more time to adjust. However, the changes to your mouth aren’t over once your gums heal. Despite how strong and solid your remaining teeth and jaw may seem, you’ll likely see other issues without a tooth replacement system. Even then, changes may still occur.
While you might have an impression of your teeth and jaws as a solid, immobile system, your jaw notices and misses the presence of lost teeth. The action of chewing moves your teeth slightly in their sockets, not enough that you’ll push them out of place, but it’s sufficient to stimulate the bone in your jaw, creating an interaction that keeps both components healthy. When you lose teeth, you lose that stimulation. Bone mass disappears over time without this stimulation. Ask your caregiver at Allure Dental Care about implants, the only tooth replacement option that restores bone stimulation.
Your teeth mutually support each other, too. When one goes missing, others can start to move slowly into the gap, giving rise to other oral health issues. The same conditions that allow teeth alignment systems to move your teeth can let your teeth drift when there’s space.
When some teeth move, you lose natural alignment with the opposing teeth on the other jaw. This can cause changes to your natural bite, making chewing less efficient, creating unnatural wear on teeth, and it can even cause jaw joint issues. In extreme cases, your speech may be altered.
The loss of teeth and bone can lead to changes in the appearance of your face. Cheeks sag and sink into your mouth. This collapse happens even if you’re fitted with removable dentures, even though the plates restore your appearance when they’re in your mouth.
Contact Allure Dental Care of Maple Lawn today, by phone or online, to keep your dental care up to date or to explore tooth replacement options. You can avoid the most common tooth loss complications, so schedule an appointment now.
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