What happens when I lose a tooth/ teeth? (What are the consequences of tooth loss?)
Before we can fully appreciate the benefits of tooth replacement, it is important to understand the problems associated with missing teeth.
The roots of your natural teeth are embedded in the jawbone. This gives you a stable foundation for biting and chewing. The teeth and jaw bone also support your lips and efffect your smile and facial appearance.
There is a special relationship between the tooth roots and the bone. The bone holds the tooth roots in place and the roots hold the bone in place. Just as we exercise to stimulate bone to prevent osteoporosis, chewing stimulates the bone around the roots of our teeth and helps to maintain the bone.
When you lose a tooth, the bone that previously surrounded that tooth no longer receives that stimulation and begins to melt away. Most people do not realize they lose bone when a tooth is lost.
This bone loss can lead to an unnatural looking indentation in your gums, jaw, and face and result in an appearance of general aging. The original look of your mouth may not be recaptured because of spaces remaining under and between replacement teeth. They may appear too long compared to nearby teeth.
Tooth loss leads to bone loss.
Bone loss leads to collapse of lip support and can ruin your facial appearance.
There are other consequences of missing teeth,such as other teeth drifting into the space created by the missing tooth (or teeth), which can affect both function and appearance. However, the most significant problem resulting from missing teeth is bone loss.
The above example demonstrates teeth drifting missing and broken teeth.