Tooth loss is actually a lot more common than many people would believe. Most of the time it’s from extraction due to poor oral hygiene, but it can also be the result of an accident. One thing is for sure, though: no matter how you lose the tooth, it can alter the shape of your face over time. Your jaw is designed to accommodate all of your teeth. If some of them aren’t there, it can cause problems. Let’s take a closer look at how those issues can affect you.
1. Your Jaw Becomes Misaligned
Besides chewing, the primary function of your molars is to keep your jaw properly aligned. It may be tempting to not replace your back teeth since they’re not as noticeable, but people will be able to tell when your jaw doesn’t line up quite right.
2. You May Experience Bone Loss in Your Jaw
The roots of your teeth stimulate your jawbone whenever you bite or chew. When you’re missing one or more teeth, that root simply isn’t there. Your jawbone won’t receive the stimulation it needs. Therefore, it will start to shrink from lack of use. Not only will it negatively impact how your face looks, but it will be uncomfortable. Your facial expressions will reflect that.
3. Your Face Will Sag
When your jawbone atrophies, that part of your face can sag, making you look much older than you actually are. One way to maintain a youthful appearance is by replacing the missing teeth with dental implants, which act as an artificial tooth root to support your jawbone. Ask your dentist if dental implants are right for you.
4. Your Gums Will Change Shape
Normally, your gums stay wrapped around your teeth, but when one is missing, they start to vanish. This rids your jaw of some of the support it used to have, which can have serious consequences. The bottom half of your face may start to fall apart, your lips may become thinner, and wrinkles can form around your mouth.
Now you know how serious it is to get your missing teeth replaced. The best option by far is dental implants. They keep your face looking young and beautiful.
About the Author
Dr. Ben Tindal is a lifelong learner who is committed to continuing education to further hone his craft. While attending the University of Florida, he earned an award for outstanding work in the field of prosthodontics, or artificial teeth, by the American College of Prosthodontics. If you have missing teeth you need to get replaced, contact Dr. Tindal on his website or call (941) 225-2520.