Tooth loss can be a traumatic experience, for you and your mouth. Even one lost tooth can damage your oral health; your bite may be affected or you could lose more teeth. These problems can occur after tooth loss, because your jawbone will begin to deteriorate and cause other oral health problems. If you have lost a tooth, or are worried about the health of your jaws, you can ask us to help you protect your oral health.
How Tooth Loss Affects Your Jaw Bone
As far as your body is concerned, the jaw’s purpose is to support and give nutrients to your teeth. Your jaw delivers minerals from the rest of your body to the soft tissues inside your teeth, as well as provides structure for your mouth and an anchor for your teeth’s roots. However, when a tooth is lost, this whole structure can be thrown off balance. The body recognizes that there is no more roots to deliver nutrients to in that area, and they are not sent.
In addition, chewing and biting stimulate the jaw, and help it remain strong. The teeth, meanwhile, are aligned in such a way as to distribute the pressure of biting evenly among themselves. When a tooth is lost, there is one less tooth (along with its root) to absorb and stimulate the pressure, and the jaw can begin to weaken and deteriorate. Losing too many teeth makes it harder to chew, and the jaw is not stimulated as it should be.
The Effects of a Weakened Jaw
Your jaw bone will begin to deteriorate once you lose a tooth; the more teeth you lose affects how much your bone is damaged. This process can cause TMJ pain (pain in the joints of the jaw), shrunken cheeks, and sometimes difficulty speaking or chewing. The lack of support and nutrients can also weaken the roots of other teeth, causing them to fall out as well if steps are not taken to prevent it.
How to Protect Your Oral Health
The only way to prevent bone loss after losing teeth is with a dental implant. A post is inserted directly into the jaw to take the place of the missing roots. The body will accept the implant as genuine, and continue to deliver nutrients to that area. Dental implants are thus a good option to protect your jaw bone and prevent more tooth loss in the future. For more information on implants, you can contact us or set up an appointment to talk about your dental needs.
ABOUT YOUR SOUTHLAKE FAMILY DENTISTS:
As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.