"Facial Aging" after tooth loss
Tooth loss can make you look 10 years older! The resulting bone loss creates “sunken cheeks” and wrinkles. Imagine reaching your 50s, 60s or older and discovering there were no option available to replace one, several, or all of your lost teeth?
The fact is that if all of your teeth are missing and not replaced, the lower one-third of your face can collapse, creating the effect that your chin is trying to touch your nose. For some folks this is a nightmare come to life. Excessive bone loss due to gum disease like periodontitis and teeth extractions means you may not be a candidate for crowns, fixed bridges, dental implants, partials dentures or even complete dentures!
The problems is that limiting your tooth replacement options will lead to further bone loss and less comfortable choices.
Think prevention. Your jawbone, gums and teeth help define your unique facial structure. Unreplaced tooth loss, and resulting bone loss, can alter you appearance and speech, erode your self-confidence, affect your diet and harm your health and can also impair your social, personal and professional life.
We all know that changes occur naturally as a result of the aging process. However, when gums disease like periodontitis is ignored and lost teeth are not replaced, the process of bone loss and facial aging is grossly accelerated.
Whether a tooth is lost due to infection or injury, without natural chewing forces the bone in that area is no longer stimulated and begins to shrink almost immediately. Significant bone loss always occurs within the first year, which is why tooth replacement should not be delayed. Tooth loss, especially if infection was involved, can result in 40% to 60% bone loss in a period of just two to three years.
Bone deterioration does not stop at the area underneath the missing tooth; it can progress to the bone under healthy teeth creating further tooth loss. Since the facial changes occur gradually, you may not notice them, but those around you may.
You can reduce bone loss and completely eliminate tooth loss. By focusing on prevention and working with an exceptional dental team, you can prevent the damaging effects of gum disease and decay. If you are about to lose a tooth or have a tooth to be extracted, there are a number of ways to prevent your jawbone – at the time of the extraction. If you have missing teeth in need of replacement, a dental team can discuss the many options that best suit your need.
Prevention is the key to avoiding the nightmare of unnecessary tooth loss and the damage it can do to your health, emotional well-being and appearance.