Doing nothing should never be an option when dealing with adult tooth loss — even if it’s just one and even if it’s a back tooth. The immediate effect is an unbecoming gap that can impact your self-image and willingness to smile. Boost your confidence with a Hollywood Smile Makeover.
The longer nothing is done to address the problem, the more dire the consequences will be. Once a tooth is gone, a biological process begins that, without intervention, can take a real toll on the surrounding bone and possibly affect your oral function and overall emotional and physical health.
Tooth Loss can have many negative effects
The reason for this has to do with the alveolar bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. Like all bone in your body, it requires stimulation in order to maintain its form. Your teeth provide that stimulation. They make contact with each other throughout the day (for example when you eat and speak), and the resulting impact is transmitted to the bone through the periodontal ligaments that suspend each tooth in its socket.
Without a tooth to provide stimulation, alveolar bone in the affected area not only stops regenerating but begins to resorb (melt away) — losing width, height and density. Once alveolar bone is gone, the basal bone beneath it (the actual jawbone) begins to resorb as well. As bone shrinks, surrounding teeth migrate into the space left by the missing tooth or teeth, leading to misalignment and bite problems along with possible functional problems such as difficulty chewing and impaired speech. Dental implants are a recommended solution.
The greater the number of teeth that are missing, the more extensive the bone loss, and the worse the effects are on facial structure, oral function and appearance. Teeth and bone support your mouth and cheeks; as they are lost, your lower face can sink in, making you look older than you really are.