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How Missing Teeth Influence Your Jawbone and Face

Photograph of dental provider explaining benefits of dental implants to patient to restore missing teeth.

When we think about missing teeth, the main concerns tend to center on the appearance of your smile or your ability to chew properly. But your teeth also play a crucial role in maintaining the structural integrity of your jawbone and face. When your teeth are missing, it can cause a “ripple effect” that leads to a number of unfortunate oral health issues.

Jawbone Deterioration

Did you know that the act of chewing promotes a healthy jawbone? When we eat, our teeth help stimulate the jawbone, encouraging bone regeneration necessary to maintain its strength and density. When our teeth are missing, this stimulation is reduced, leading to bone loss over time.

Facial Structure Changes

The jawbone provides important support for your facial tissues. As your jawbone grows weaker, it can cause your face shape to change, often resulting in a sunken appearance around the bottom half of your face. The facial tissues will begin to sag and wrinkle in a way that can make you look prematurely aged.

Shifting Teeth

Your remaining teeth will naturally begin to shift into the gaps left by your missing teeth. This movement has a number of negative side effects. Your bite may become misaligned, which can trigger TMJ issues or difficulty chewing and speaking. You may also be more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease as your smile’s structure begins to change.

Dental Implants and Dentures at CarolinasDentist

The best way to prevent this ripple effect to your jawbone and face is to replace your missing teeth. Dental implants act as an artificial tooth root that stimulates the jawbone like your natural teeth, preventing bone loss. Implants and dentures also fill in the spaces left in your smile so that your remaining teeth stay in their proper place. If you’re missing teeth and want to avoid more significant changes to your face, call CarolinasDentist today for a consultation!

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