Have you lost a tooth to decay, gum disease, dental injury, or infection? If you have missing teeth, then you know that your speech and eating habits suffer. But did you know that a missing tooth can also be harmful to your oral health? Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, your Queens dentist describes the compounding problems associated with tooth loss and how you can prevent them.
Tooth Loss Can Lead to Malocclusion
Each of your teeth serves a specific purpose. Their location, shape, and size relate to the role they play in chewing and speaking. When one tooth is missing, other teeth will try to make up for the loss. This results in teeth shifting out of place and a misaligned bite. Malocclusion, or misaligned bite, can present several problems for your oral health. A poor bite can create issues with jaw health, since your jaw hinge joint will continually struggle to hold your teeth at the correct angle. Malocclusion can also cause excessive tooth wear when one tooth attempts to make up for the role of a different tooth, which it is not meant to handle.
Tooth Loss Can Lead to Jawbone Damage
Another serious, yet often overlooked consequence of missing teeth is jawbone deterioration. Known as alveolar atrophy, this occurs when your jawbone no longer receives the chewing stimulation it needs to stay healthy. The bone begins to shrink in what is known as bone resorption. The result of multiple missing teeth is a sunken-in look, since your jawbone and teeth give your face vertical height. Without the height from your teeth and jawbone, your face will begin to look collapsed, with severe wrinkles around the mouth.
Addressing Tooth Loss in Queens
While these compounding problems from tooth loss may sound overwhelming, your Queens dentist can help. Next week, find out how Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz can help you prevent malocclusion, excessive tooth wear, and even jawbone deterioration with dental implants. Call 718-728-8320 for more information. We proudly serve patients from Astoria, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and surrounding areas.