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If you have missing teeth, fixing them is more than a cosmetic concern. Having missing teeth can put your oral health at risk in a number of different ways. Whether your dentist in Belmont recommends dental implants or dentures, it’s important to choose a treatment plan, not only so you can feel confident in your smile again but also to reduce the risk of future oral health problems. Here are some of the ways missing teeth can compromise your oral health.

Bone Loss

When you have missing teeth, the jawbone in the area where your tooth used to be may deteriorate, because it now only contains a tooth root. As your bone deteriorates, the other teeth in your mouth may shift, and the shape of your face may even change. Dental implants in particular are ideal for preventing bone loss, because the artificial root that is implanted in the jaw acts just like a natural root, which in turn stops bone loss from occurring.

More Lost Teeth

After losing a tooth, your risk of losing another increases dramatically if you don’t replace it. The teeth that were adjacent to the missing tooth are now more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease, so they can become unhealthy and need to be removed. Missing teeth also affects the way you chew, which can cause tooth damage. If bone loss occurs, the teeth in the area of the loss can become loose and may need to be removed. Whether you choose dental implants, partial dentures, or full dentures, replacing missing teeth can save the natural teeth you have left.

Change in Facial Appearance

Tooth loss can have a dramatic impact on your facial structure, especially if you are missing more than one tooth for an extended period of time. Bone loss and the loss of the support that your teeth give your facial structure can cause your lips and cheeks to sink. This can make you look older and may negatively impact your self-esteem. Dentures and dental implants can both restore the support and structure that losing one or more teeth has caused.

Replacing missing teeth