The loss of a tooth rarely presents uncomfortable symptoms in the first few years of being untreated, which is why many patients delay tackling a missing tooth and some ignore it altogether. The consequences of missing teeth can include jawbone loss, changes in facial structure as a result of this jawbone loss and loss of confidence and wellbeing. We explore these consequences in more detail below.
Missing teeth present problems when it comes to your jawbone, which without the support of teeth, begins to recede, or shrink. Your jawbone is stimulated by activities such as eating and when you lose a tooth this stimulation is no longer available which wears the jawbone down. After the first year of having a missing tooth the jawbone shrinks by a rate of 25% and continues at a rate of around 4mm each year.
Changes to your facial aesthetic
When chronic jawbone loss occurs, this can be extremely problematic where you facial aesthetic is concerned. As the jawbone continues to lose width and height, gum tissue is also decreasing and the distance between the nose and the chin resorbs away also, causing facial collapse. This is characterised by the chin protruding forwards and upwards, making the face appear older than it might be due to the fact that the skin loses volume and begins to sag.
Poor emotional wellbeing
Missing teeth that are part of the ‘social six’ (the teeth most visible when you smile) can cause a huge loss of confidence and stop people from wanting to smile. This in turn, prevents the release of endorphins, the chemicals released when you smile, so stopping yourself smiling will actually reduce feelings of wellbeing.
Treating a missing tooth with dental implants is one of the best investments you can make into the future of your smile and are favourable over dentures when it comes to preserving your jawbone health. Read our blog ‘How An Implant Can Change Your Smile’ for more information about the benefits of implants over dentures.
If you would like more information about dental implants at Cliftonville, please do not hesitate to contact us here in Northamtpon.