Tooth loss isn’t typically a subtle issue, and like all dental health issues, it should never be ignored. While the inconsistencies in your smile are the most immediate visual effects of tooth loss, they aren’t the only manner in which tooth loss can affect your appearance. Today, we explore the long-term effects of tooth loss and how they culminate in facial collapse—the visual appearance of a resorbed jawbone. We also explain how dental implants are the only prosthetic solution that can stop facial collapse by helping you maintain a stronger, healthier jawbone following tooth loss.
When you lose a tooth, your ability to bite and chew is hindered, and replacing your tooth’s crown (the visible part) is essential to restoring that ability. However, the loss of the tooth’s root, which extends beneath the gums and into your jawbone, means the foundation of your smile loses the benefits of effective biting and chewing. When stimulated, healthy teeth roots facilitate a healthy flow of nutrients to your jawbone, helping it remain strong enough to support your teeth. Losing one or more tooth roots and not replacing them can cause your jawbone to slowly deteriorate from the resulting nutrient deficiency. Eventually, this can lead to facial collapse – the shrunken-jaw appearance that plagues many patients who’ve suffered tooth loss.
Replacing your lost teeth’s crowns restores your ability to bite and chew. But securing your new replacement teeth to one or more dental implants is the only way for biting and chewing to once again benefit your smile’s foundation. Surgically implanted into your jawbone, the prosthetic tooth roots can restore the stimulation that your jawbone relies on and help prevent its deterioration. Dental implants also provide the sturdiest foundation to hold your prosthetic teeth in place.