How do missing teeth affect your jaw? Franklin & Marlborough MA
When teeth are missing, it has a significant effect on the jaw. Most notably, it can lead to a reduced jawbone both in size and strength. When a tooth is absent, the jawbone in the area no longer receives the proper stimulation it needs to maintain its mass. Over time, this lack of stimulation causes the bone to deteriorate and shrink. This not only impacts the strength of the jaw, but can also change the shape and contours of your face. A sunken look around the mouth and cheeks is a common side effect of this decreased jawbone size.Tooth replacements, such as dental implants, can help stimulate the jawbone.
Eating and chewing can become particularly challenging when there are gaps in your teeth. The mechanics of your bite change as you try to compensate for the missing teeth, putting an unnecessary strain and wear on the remaining teeth, and imposing undue stress on your jaw muscles and joints. Over time, this can lead to temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) , causing chronic pain and discomfort.
What about replacing missing teeth with dentures or dental implants?
While dentures offer a cosmetic solution, they don't quite measure up for optimal jaw health.Dentures float on top of the gums and do not attach to the jawbone, meaning your jawbone isn't receiving the stimulation it needs to stay strong and healthy.
Over time, this could lead to a condition known as bone resorption, where the body begins to reabsorb the bone that's no longer in use. This process can gradually weaken your jaw, making it more fragile and susceptible to fractures.
Not only does this impact your oral health, but it might also give you sunken face appearance, as your jaw defines your face structure.
So, what's the alternative? Consider dental implants. Unlike dentures, dental implants are inserted directly into your jawbone. They act like your natural tooth roots, providing much-needed stimulation to your jawbone each time you chew or bite. This can help prevent the shrinkage of the jawbone and the associated facial changes. It's like having your natural teeth, providing the perfect fusion of form and functionality.
Dental implants aren't a one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone's dental health and oral needs are unique, so it's crucial to consult with your dentist to find the best option for you.
Protect and Preserve Your Jawbone
Don't let your missing teeth take a toll on your jaw and overall dental health. The advantage of dental implants over dentures is clear - they are not only a great aesthetic solution but also lend essential support to your jaw, giving it the stimulation it needs to stay firm in the face of the potential damage caused by missing teeth.
Many people don't realize the full impact that missing teeth can have on their overall oral health and appearance. It's not just the immediate issues, like cosmetic concerns and difficulty in eating or speaking, but also potential long-term effects such as a weakened and shrunken jawbone.
Therefore, if you're missing teeth, it's crucial to discuss the best options with our dentist at Periodontal Specialists to mitigate these effects and restore your smile.