Consequences of missing teeth
When you lose a tooth, there are many consequences that could happen that you are completely unaware of, and these could affect your mouth big time.
- You lose bone
As soon as teeth are taken out, your bone begins to shrink, and overtime, this will lead to a sunken in appearance of your face, leading to you looking older than you actually are. What’s more, is that the more bone you lose, the more difficult implants will be to place, and the less efficient dentures will be. For implants, you can always add more bone, however, if you have lost a lot of bone, this means extra surgery and more costs and time for treatment.
- Your teeth like to drift
Teeth like to meet each other and come into contact with one another. When you lose a tooth, teeth will generally start to drift until they meet something else. This happens to a different extent on different teeth. For example, upper molars will always tend to drift downwards (out of the bone) when lower molars are taken out. If left for a long period of time, the tooth will drift out so much that it causes problems and will need extracting. This process is like a very slow tooth extraction.
Lower molars tend to tilt forwards or roll in towards the tongue.
Other teeth tend to tilt towards the gap. Teeth are very good at withstanding up and down biting forces, but when they are tilted they get a lot of non-vertical forces, which they are very poor at dealing with.This ultimately leads to bone loss around the tooth, which will significantly reduce the lifespan of the tooth.
- You put more force on your remaining teeth
The fewer teeth you have, the more of the brunt they will take during eating. Your teeth (especially the front teeth) are not designed to be taking loads and loads of force during eating. Nature has designed them to work as a set and they are very good at taking the incredible amount of stress you put on them while eating, however, when you start to increase the load onto fewer teeth, they will start wearing down, chipping, and losing bone, which ultimately results in tooth loss.
- Reduced function
This goes without saying, the fewer teeth you have, the less efficiently you’re going to be able to eat, and the less comfortable its going to be. If you lose the very back tooth (and the rest of your arch is still there) it won’t affect you too much. However, if you lose your first molar or a tooth in the middle of your arch, it starts to become uncomfortable when eating and the more teeth you lose, the more uncomfortable it becomes.
Some studies even show that life expectancy can be reduced by living with missing teeth.
- Affected appearance
Gaps from missing teeth are a big no-no if you want to look your best.