Don’t Let Tooth Loss Equal Bone Loss

Posted on Sep 13, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

What we DON’T know CAN harm us. As a periodontal specialist, I wish every American was aware of what happens in their mouth when they lose teeth. By understanding the ‘domino effect’ created by tooth loss, I believe the oral – and overall – health of the U.S. population would significantly improve.

When natural teeth are lost, some adults still believe that the sufficient replacement of teeth is through a denture or partial. Although this does, indeed, replace teeth, these are not ideal solutions.

When a tooth is lost, surrounding natural teeth shift out of proper position if the tooth is not replaced. However, using a denture or partial to replace teeth puts pressure on the gum-covered ‘ridge’ that once held natural teeth. This pressure accelerates the rate at which the underlying jaw bone shrinks.

Without natural tooth roots in the bone, the jaw bone begins to shrink, losing height and thinning over time. This not only puts the jaw at risk for fractures and breaks, it can lead to changes in one’s facial appearance. Bone loss causes deep wrinkling around the mouth with corners of the mouth that turn downward, even in a smile. The chin takes on a more pointed look and the mouth tends to sink into the face, creating what is known as a ‘granny look.’

Bone loss can be halted with the placement of Dental Implants. One type of implant is suitable even when severe bone loss has occurred. For those missing all of their upper or lower teeth, the All-On-4 Implant system is affordable, placed in a simple procedure, and can have teeth attached immediately.

Few things in life deserve more than the benefits of a healthy smile. We rely on it to bite, chew, speak, and express ourselves. It is the beginning of the digestive process and the “window to our bodies.” Consider your options for replacing teeth so you can enjoy a healthy, worry-free smile. And remember, bone loss will not stop on its own. The sooner you put a halt to the process, the more options you’ll have.

Call (828) 274-9440 to arrange a consultation to discuss tooth replacement through Dental Implants. I look forward to hearing from you!

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