No one plans on losing a tooth. Whether it happens as a result of poor oral health choices or pure accident, it isn’t something you really see coming until it’s already too late. Sadly, the negative effects of losing a tooth are not limited to a damaged smile and decreased comfort during normal daily activities like eating and talking. Losing a tooth can actually lead to jawbone atrophy, which can drastically change the appearance of your face. Let’s look at how missing teeth affect your face.
The Cause of Jawbone Atrophy
The health of your jaw is closely tied to the health of your teeth. In fact, your jawbone will literally lose its shape and durability without the help of your teeth. That is because the pressure exerted by your teeth when you chew is what influences your jaw to reabsorb old worn-out bone with fresh new bone. This process is called remodeling, and that is how your jawbone stays healthy and strong throughout your life.
Without a tooth in place, that section of your jaw is never put under pressure. It’s never really used, so as your body reabsorbs old bone tissue, it doesn’t actually replace it with new bone tissue. Essentially, your body doesn’t receive the necessary signals that would encourage your body to continue remodeling that section of bone.
Over time this breakdown in the normal cycle of bone reabsorption and growth causes that section or sections of jawbone to become soft. As healthy bone tissue dwindles, that portion of your jawbone will no longer be as wide, and it will not support your face in the same way. That is how missing teeth end up affecting the way your face looks.
How Missing Teeth Affect Your Face
Many people might like to change the appearance of their face. But jawbone atrophy never leads to an attractive change. Without proper support, you’ll notice that your face will sag and sink inwards. Specifically, this happens where the jawbone is no longer strong enough to hold its shape. That is why people who have lost the majority of their teeth look so different without their dentures. The good news is there are ways to avoid this fate by checking in with your Los Angeles periodontist.
Preventing Bone Loss
Several tooth replacement options work for patients depending on their personal circumstances. However, there is only one option that can prevent bone loss. Dental implants are actually drilled directly into your jawbone, so they can communicate to your body that you are in fact using your jaw. By placing implants strategically around your mouth and supplementing with dental bridges or dentures as needed, you can literally have a brand new set of teeth in a day in Los Angeles.
The process is minimally invasive. Your periodontist purposely places the necessary implants in the most ideal locations based on your jaw’s current conditions. With dentures, a full-mouth restoration only requires four dental implants. This eliminates the need for adhesive and helping to give your dentures the security you deserve. For patients who prefer a dental bridge, you will need a dental implant for every 4-5 teeth.
Either way, you can walk out of the office with a smile that’s ready to show off. All you have to do is follow your periodontist’s pre-surgical and post-surgical instructions to make sure that you’re giving your dental implants the best chance of success. With proper care, your new smile will last you for decades.