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Dental Implants & the Health Effects of Missing Teeth

Ann Arbor Dentist

When you lose a tooth, it damages more than just your smile. Missing teeth force you to alter your lifestyle to accommodate the change in your mouth. Your dentist knows that a healthy mouth depends on a full set of teeth — not just for chewing, but for maintaining healthy gums and strengthening your jawbone.

The Health Effects of Missing Teeth

Each tooth in your mouth provides support for the teeth around it so when one is missing, the ones surrounding it have nothing to lean on. As soon as teeth feel an opening near them, they loosen up, shift and tilt inwards to fill the space. This often leads to tooth decay and even further tooth loss.

When your jawbone feels the absence of a tooth, it responds by deteriorating to use the nutrients and tissue elsewhere in your body. When our teeth bite down, they apply pressure on the jaw bone and this signals the body to maintain your bone cells. However, without that pressure, the gap left by missing teeth will continue to deteriorate until something replaces it.

The longer you wait to replace missing teeth, the more difficult it is to have a suitable replacement. This is due to jawbone deterioration. The more deteriorated your jawbone is, the less options you have. Missing teeth can ultimately lead to facial collapse which severely affects your appearance and ability to talk/eat.

Missing teeth can make eating the foods we love difficult and even painful. If you limit your diet to only what your teeth can handle, you miss out on many important nutrients leading to malnutrition and a variety of health conditions. As soon as you replace a missing tooth, you improve your oral health, and dental implants are a great option.

Dental Implants

Whether you need just one, or all, of your teeth replaced, dental implants provide a solution for your mouth that will last a lifetime. With dental implants, you can eat the foods you love without worrying about pain and discomfort.

Moreover, by inserting titanium roots into the hollow gaps where your teeth are missing, dental implants prevent your natural teeth from shifting and your jawbone from deteriorating.

Dental implants actually fuse with your jaw bone through a process known as osseointegration. This is where bone cells attach themselves to the titanium root and grow around it, incorporating it into your jaw bone.

Unlike dentures, dental implants require no special maintenance. You can maintain your dental implants just like normal teeth, by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.

Request an Appointment Today

If you want to learn more about how missing teeth affects your health and the benefits of dental implants, you can contact our Ann Arbor implant dentists or call us at (734) 201-1610 to schedule an appointment.

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This blog post has been updated.