What Are the Dangers of Tooth Loss?
Our teeth are designed to last us our whole lives. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Over the years, your teeth sustain wear and tear from daily use leaving them susceptible to tooth decay and damage. Some damage can be caused by an accident or injury. Your dentist’s main objective will always be to save your tooth, and there are times when a filling, endodontics, or prosthetic can restore your tooth. There are also many instances when an extraction of your tooth may be necessary to protect the health of your mouth. Losing a tooth may be necessary, but tooth loss comes with its own potential danger.
When a tooth is extracted, both the surface above the gums is removed as well as the roots and tissues below. The roots of your tooth stimulate the bone in your jaw. Without this stimulation from your tooth, the body deems that area of bone unnecessary. If a bone is unnecessary, the body starts a process called bone resorption, where the minerals of the jawbone are taken to be used elsewhere in the body. This process can leave the bone less dense, weaker, and softer. Without the necessary density, the jaw can begin to change shape. This shifting, soft foundation for the teeth can put the remaining teeth or restorations at risk.
Overcompensation on the Other Teeth
When you are missing a tooth, you may find yourself chewing on the opposite side of your mouth. This overcompensation can lead to a premature wearing down of the overused teeth. These teeth can become susceptible to damage and tooth decay.
Implants Can Limit These Dangers
Dental implants replace the root area of a tooth, which will stimulate the bone and decrease the risk of loss. The implants can support a new restoration like a crown, while keeping the surrounding teeth in a sturdy foundation. A restoration prosthetic for the missing tooth can restore your ability to chew, bite, and speak. Restoring a missing tooth can also mean restoring your smile’s appearance.