Dental Effects of Missing Teeth

Teeth lost by a patient and a dental mirror

Missing teeth are more than just an inconvenience. Failing to replace a tooth can lead to other health complications that are best avoided. If you need to get a tooth replaced, look no further than Cobblestone Park Family Dental, one of Oklahoma City’s finest family-owned and -operated dental practices. Read on to explore some of the dental effects of missing teeth — and why replacing them so important.

Bone Loss

The most common cause of bone loss in the mouth is missing teeth. Think of the jawbone as a muscle: it needs regular stimulus or the bone will be resorbed. The pressure exerted on the bone from using your teeth preserves and strengthens the jawbone. In fact, bone loss can reach 25 percent just one year after a tooth goes missing.

Difficulty Chewing

Missing teeth, particularly front teeth or large rear molars, make it difficult or impossible to eat some foods. In extreme cases, missing teeth can make the process of eating unappealing and painful. This can lead to poor nutrition, ingestion of improperly chewed food, and unhealthy weight loss.

Shifting Teeth and Bite Issues

A certain amount of movement in the teeth is natural. Missing teeth, however, can exacerbate this effect and lead to a negatively impacted bite. Poorly aligned teeth can be painful, make chewing difficult, and adversely affect your smile.

As your teeth shift and your bite deforms, you may experience uneven wearing and enamel erosion. A ‘bad bite’ (known as malocclusion) can actually reduce the lifespan of your teeth and lead to additional dental problems down the road.

Facial Shape

Missing teeth have a very noticeable effect on your smile and overall facial shape. As the jawbone weakens, the sag begins to pull the facial skin downwards. The face will look sunken and withered: support from the teeth is vital to keeping the face properly shaped. Lack of teeth will make the face look older and more drawn, something best avoided.

Discuss Your Tooth Replacement Options with Our Dentists

If you’re suffering from a missing tooth, it’s best to get it taken care of earlier rather than later. Missing teeth can lead to complications with bone loss, chewing, and shifting bite patterns. To learn more about teeth replacement in Oklahoma City, or to schedule an appointment, contact Cobblestone Park Family Dental for a free consultation!

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