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Hidden Consequences of Tooth Loss

While it’s understandable for many individuals to think that the loss of one or two teeth, particularly if they are in less noticeable areas of the mouth, may not be of serious concern, the fact is that even a single missing tooth can lead to a number of severe oral health consequences. In addition to overall smile aesthetics, missing teeth can cause problems with speaking and chewing, as well as structural deterioration that may require major dental intervention later. The good news is, our dentists at Scottsdale Smile Center offer a number of effective treatments to replace missing teeth, including dental implants, implant dentures, and dental bridges. These advanced options can create results that significantly reduce oral health risks and improve both function and aesthetics.

Some of the dangers caused by missing teeth that remain untreated include:

Teeth Shifting

Just one missing tooth can create a chain reaction among the natural teeth that surround it, ultimately causing them to become loose and shift position. When this occurs, teeth misalignment, changes in bite, and problems chewing may result.

Jawbone Degeneration

Since natural teeth help stimulate bone growth in the jaws, bone density in areas where teeth are missing may begin to recede. This jawbone degeneration can lead to a loosening (or even complete dislodgement) of surrounding teeth.

Gum Recession, Periodontal Disease, and Risks to General Health

If the jawbone deteriorates due to missing teeth, the gums may follow suit. Gum recession can then develop into severe gum (periodontal) disease, which can increase risks to overall health if left untreated. Periodontal disease has been linked to a large number of serious, even life-threatening general health conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, stroke, dementia, certain kinds of cancer, and others.

Altered Facial Appearance

When teeth are lost in specific areas of the mouth, a condition known as “facial collapse” may occur. In some cases, the proportional distance between the chin and the nose can be shortened when missing teeth are not replaced. This can significantly alter one’s overall facial aesthetic and ultimately create an appearance that may look much older than they truly are.

Fortunately, missing teeth replacement can successfully address these concerns for many individuals. If you have a missing tooth or several missing teeth, please don’t hesitate to contact Scottsdale Smile Center for additional information on treatment options, or to schedule an appointment.