Whether you decide to replace missing teeth is up to you. But dental implants bring several benefits that go beyond having a beautiful smile.
Your bones, bite, and even the overall appearance of your facial muscles can change when your teeth are missing. What once was a perfect bite becomes the cause of jaw pain and headaches.
At Mountain Peak Dentistry, we made it our goal to inform our readers about the many risks of missing teeth and let them know why it’s important to address the problem as soon as possible.
The bones in your jaw need constant stimulation to retain their size. Without stimulation, they begin to atrophy.
Stimulation occurs when you bite and chew, but if a tooth is missing, the bone starts to weaken, which leads to a sunken look that makes you appear much older than you actually are.
In just one year, you lose up to 25% of the bone density in the area where you’re missing a tooth.
Although dentures are a popular choice for people who are missing several teeth, they don’t solve the problem of bone loss. In some cases, dentures make it worse, as the friction between the dentures and the bone speeds up the atrophy process.
A better alternative is a dental implant that’s surgically placed in your bone. These implants play the role of the lost tooth, providing enough stimulation to prevent atrophy.
A crooked smile
Even if your tooth loss isn’t visible when you smile, what was once a straight smile can become crooked due to shifting teeth. The bone loss can cause your teeth in the surrounding areas to tip over, harming the alignment of your teeth even further.
TMJ disorder and poor nutrition
An uneven bite is often associated with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which comes with clicking jaw noises, jaw stiffness, jaw pain, and migraines.
What makes it worse is that when a TMJ disorder occurs, many people start eating soft foods that require very little chewing instead of treating the underlying cause (tooth loss). This often leads to restrictive diets and poor nutrition.
Avoid the domino effect
Losing a tooth not only negatively impacts your self-esteem, but it can also bring a cascade of side effects such as bone loss, changes in the appearance of your facial muscles, an uneven bite, and the development of a TMJ disorder.
Fortunately, it’s now easier than ever to replace a missing tooth. Dentistry has evolved a lot over the past few decades, making the process painless for patients, who enjoy a whopping 98% success rate.
If you live in Lakewood, Colorado, or the surrounding community, schedule an appointment to get expert advice on how to avoid the unpleasant side effects that come with tooth loss. Call our office today or use the online booking tool.