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The Effects Of Tooth Loss


Illustration of two teeth moving closer due to a missing tooth at Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates.

Everybody experiences tooth loss as they grow older. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, people aged 50 to 64 years old have four less teeth on average than those aged 20 to 34. However, just because it is normal does not mean we can let our teeth fall out without seeking help for it. Tooth loss does more to the mouth than make food harder for you to chew. It actually changes plenty of things. From your other teeth to your jaws, tooth loss affects more than just one area of the mouth. It should be taken seriously.

Shifting Teeth


One noticeable change you will face after losing a tooth is having the rest of your teeth shift places. Granted, they will not move too far from their original places. And your teeth normally shift outward as you age. But having a missing tooth can get your other teeth slightly misaligned. The effects of shifted teeth can seem subtle at first. But over time, this could affect your bite. As your teeth shift forward, those sets with extra space in front of them will shift slightly faster. This could lead to a little bit of teeth grinding and discomfort.

Jaw Changes


Besides the dental shifting, the jaws also tend to change. When you lose a tooth, the part of the jaw where the missing tooth used to be will start to shrink. The bone tissue can get smaller and your gums in the area will recede because there is not enough jaw tissue underneath to support them. This becomes a big issue if you are planning to get an implant to replace the missing tooth. Normally, we would install implants on this area of the jaw. But without this area, we would end up needing to add a graft just to have a place where implants can be installed.

Infection


The area of the gums where there used to be teeth can also be susceptible to infection. In some people, this area could leave a gaping hole where oral bacteria can reside. They could grow here and multiply, causing this place to get infected once they reach a certain size. However, this is quite unlikely if the tooth has been extracted professionally. In our office, we offer antibiotics for those who have weaker immune systems. We can even stitch up the hole if it seems to be too big to heal sooner. If you are expecting your tooth to fall out anyway, then you may be better off seeing us so we can advise you about it.

Self-esteem


Lastly, you may find yourself feeling a bit uncomfortable with a missing tooth. That is, you may get the feeling that you cannot seem to smile as wide as you used to. Many people who have lost their front teeth feel this way. When this happens, it can be heartbreaking for the patient and the people around them. Fortunately, we at Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates offer plenty of solutions for your dental needs. From dental prophylaxis to prosthetics, we can do any of them at the right cost. Just call us at 725-257-2220 so we can schedule you for an appointment.



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