Did you know that a missing tooth—or multiple missing teeth—can be a bigger issue than simply a smile imperfection? In fact, if left untreated, tooth loss can have negative consequences for your overall oral wellness and function, as well as your entire facial appearance. More specifically, failing to address missing teeth can lead to one or more of the following concerns:
- Shifting of Teeth and Bite Complications – When teeth go unreplaced, other teeth adjacent to the gap can gradually move into the vacant space, sometimes shifting and/or rotating to such a degree that bite issues manifest. Not only can this lead to teeth grinding and chewing difficulties, it can develop into bigger problems like TMJ dysfunction, depending on the severity of bite misalignment.
- Greater Risk of Gum Disease – Vacant areas left by missing teeth, as well as hard-to-clean nooks and crannies created by surrounding teeth that have shifted, can notably increase the risk of gum disease development. This doesn’t simply pose a threat to your oral health, but also to your overall wellness as gum disease is closely linked to several systemic health concerns.
- Gum Recession and Jawbone Loss – Gum and jawbone tissue in the space of a missing tooth no longer remains stimulated, which can lead to recession and deterioration over time. If the tooth is not replaced, this gum and bone loss can advance to the point that the stability of adjacent teeth is jeopardized, potentially leading to additional tooth loss.
- An Aged Facial Aesthetic – Multiple missing teeth and the associated deterioration of the jawbone may lead to several cosmetic facial concerns, including hollowed and/or sunken cheeks and a “shortened” facial structure, both of which can create an “aged” appearance.
The good news is, all of these consequences of tooth loss can usually be prevented by pursuing restorative dentistry in a timely matter. With advanced options such as dental implants and All-on-4™ implant dentures, you can replace missing teeth with long-lasting, natural-looking results that not only restore the appearance of your smile, but also help to optimize your oral health and protect your orofacial structure by preserving gum and bone tissue.
For more information about issues related to tooth loss, or if you are interested in scheduling an appointment at our Philadelphia practice to learn about potential treatment options for missing teeth, please feel free to contact us online or by phone today. Our experienced dentist, Dr. Rafael Yanez, will be happy to meet with you to develop an effective plan based on your unique needs and smile goals.Contact Our Practice