How Tooth Loss Can Affect Your Health

Tooth loss

How Tooth Loss Can Affect Your Health

Accidents and poor dental care can all play a part in tooth loss. If you happen to experience tooth loss, you may think that leaving an open gap is not a big deal, especially if the lost tooth is in the part of your mouth not very visible to the outside world. This would be a mistake because tooth loss can have a far-reaching impact on your oral health and overall well-being. Here are some of the consequences of losing a tooth and not being proactive about replacing it. 

Shifting

When you experience tooth loss, your remaining teeth will shift over time towards the gap, regardless of its location. All of your teeth serve as stabilizing forces for your bite. They keep other teeth in place and protect the integrity of your alignment. Not only does tooth shifting affect the overall aesthetic appearance of your smile, but it can also cause the following:

  • Newly created spaces between your teeth could catch and trap bacteria resulting in cavities and gum disease
  • Chewing can feel uneven and create new wear and tear because of the bite’s misalignment. 
  • Teeth shifting could cause gum recession and result in painful tooth sensitivity. 

Changes to Facial Appearance

Tooth loss results in shifting of the teeth, which can affect your face’s appearance and even make you look older. Tooth loss also causes a decrease in facial height due to a reduction of bone height. Here are some appearance changes associated with tooth loss:

  • Deepening of vertical lines on your lips
  • A forward shifting of the chin
  • Thinning lips
  • Sagging jowls
  • Changes to the angle of your lips

Jawbone Issues

Stimulation of the jaw is necessary for maintaining healthy bone density. Unfortunately, tooth loss can create issues in the jaw bone and reduce the amount of stimulation created by chewing and biting. The lack of jaw stimulation can leave you with further bone loss and lead to the following issues:

  • Painful bony projections under the tongue
  • Nerve exposure in the lower jaw
  • Overall discomfort, particularly if you are wearing dentures

Soft Tissue Issues

When tooth and bone loss occurs, it can also cause a decrease in the gum tissue. If you wear dentures, gum tissue could result in painful sore spots. For those not wearing dentures, tooth loss could potentially affect the tongue by causing it to enlarge to fill the gap. 

General Health Issues

Tooth loss can result in diminished chewing performance, which could, in turn, negatively affect your diet. Lower intake of foods like fruits and vegetables, fiber, and vitamin A can produce various health issues. And there have even been studies that linked tooth loss to an increased risk of heart or blood vessel disease. 

Koch Aesthetic Dentistry in Birmingham, Alabama Cares About Your Smile!

Proper dental care can help avoid unnecessary tooth loss. Be certain to come in for regular cleanings and dental check-ups, and be proactive about lost tooth replacement to keep your smile healthy and happy. If you’d like to learn more about your options associated with tooth loss management, please contact us today.