The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth

Tooth tipping into empty space

When you lose a tooth it is easy to think of it as an isolated incident.  It wasn’t fun and doesn’t make you feel good, but everything is okay now.  Right?

Maybe not.  There may be some hidden consequences you haven’t thought of.

In most cases it is recommended that extracted teeth be replaced.  The most common ways to do this are with implants, fixed bridges, dentures, and partial dentures.  We also have ways to get you by on a more temporary basis, if you have to postpone treatment.

Dentists know that the tooth system is dynamic and one change can throw off the balance of the entire system. When there is an empty space in your mouth the teeth around it actually move into it looking for the tooth they are meant to connect with.  They often tip over or grow out of the bone, putting these teeth at risk of being the next ones to be lost.

Neighboring teeth can also be damaged by the stress of compensating for missing teeth and misaligned teeth hitting each other in the wrong places can suffer fractures and other damage. The TMJ joint where the upper and lower jaws meet can become inflamed and painful, as well as experiencing unusual wear and tear.

 

Missing teeth can be a cosmetic issue even if they are not visible when you smile.  Your face can look thin and gaunt when your cheeks are no longer supported by teeth. If you are missing several teeth your bite can collapse, causing your face to shorten with it, making you look older than you are.

The last concern about missing teeth we want to share with you here is a serious one.  When missing teeth impact the ability to chew food well, your digestive system is not able to break down nutrients as it is meant to.  This is especially important for older adults and can impact their health in a negative way.  Even if you are younger you will want to prevent heading down this path.

Here is the good news!

If you are missing teeth, and live in the Knoxville area, we can help.  Dr. Smith is an expert at finding the perfect solution for restoring your mouth to health and giving you a great smile at the same time.

Call (865) 922-1613 to schedule your consultation.  We will be happy to help you.

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