When one or more teeth are missing, more often than not, it will lead to jawbone degradation and loss at the site. This loss of jawbone can develop into additional problems, both cosmetically (the appearance) and functionally (your overall dental/medical health).
In that same way that muscles are maintained through exercise, bone tissue is maintained by use. Natural teeth are embedded in the jawbone, and stimulate the jawbone through activities such as chewing and biting. When teeth are missing, the alveolar bone, or the portion of the jawbone that anchors the teeth in the mouth, no longer receives the necessary stimulation, and begins to break down, or resorb. What the body no longer uses or “needs” it gets rid of, the same applies to the jawbone, so if unused it deteriorates and goes away.
Potential Consequences of Tooth and Jawbone Loss
- Problems with remaining teeth including: misalignment, drifting, tilting
- Periodontal/gum problems like gum recession, loosening and/or loss of further teeth
- Collapsed facial profile, limited lip support & skin wrinkling around the mouth – giving the appearance that you are older than you actually are
- Distortion or alteration of other facial features or appearance
- TMJ or jaw pain, facial pain, and headaches
- Difficulty speaking and communicating
- Inadequate nutrition as a result of the inability to chew or eat properly and painlessly
- Sinus expansion