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The Connection between Tooth Loss and Poor Oral Health

By Stephen Rogers on April 06, 2016

Illustration of a dental implant with a crownThe team at Greater Long Island Dental helps patients understand why leaving tooth loss untreated can lead to catastrophic consequences, as well as to why dental implants are the best way to avoid those consequences from occurring. It should not be a surprise to most adults that poor oral health can - and usually does - lead to tooth loss. However, many adults are surprised to learn that tooth loss can, in turn, lead to increasingly poor oral health.

This is because too many people believe that tooth loss is simply a cosmetic problem, and that once a tooth has been lost, the worst of the oral health problems are over. Unfortunately, this is far from the case. In fact, the loss of a tooth signifies the opening of a door for a host of new oral health problems. If a missing tooth is not replaced immediately, the risk of serious oral and overall health problems developing increases with each passing day.

The good news is that, by replacing the missing tooth and repairing whatever damage has been done to the gums and jaw bone, The dentists at Greater Long Island Dental can help to restore virtually any mouth to optimal health, form, and function. We discuss the relationship between tooth loss and poor oral health during consultations at our Long Island, NY practice and describe how these problems can be tackled head on through advanced treatments.

If you are missing one or more of your natural teeth, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at Greater Long Island Dental.

How Does Tooth Loss Lead to Poor Oral Health?

Your body has limited resources. When you lose a tooth, your body interprets the loss as a signal that the structures that once supported the tooth are no longer in need of those resources. Delivering vital resources to the gum and bone tissues that were necessary to the support of a now-missing tooth would be like delivering electricity to an apartment that is now vacant. The body shuts off the supply of blood and nutrients, and the gum and bone tissues fall into disrepair and begin to degrade.

Over time, the bone and gums can badly degrade, which can be especially problematic among people who are missing multiple teeth. This affects not only the strength and integrity of the bite, but also the appearance of the face, which can start to appear hollow and sunken. The gums become more susceptible to infection, which in turn can promote infection throughout the entire body. The teeth adjacent to a gap left by missing teeth will invariably start to shift out of their optimal positions in the mouth toward the gap, causing misalignment and bite problems. In short, even a single missing tooth can affect the entire mouth, which in turn can affect the entire body.

Dental implants are tiny titanium posts that replicate tooth roots. The body does not recognize titanium as a foreign substance. Therefore, when dental implants are surgically embedded into the jaw, the degradation process that begins when a tooth is lost is halted. When a crown or bridge is attached to an implant, the teeth adjacent to a gap can no longer shift out of place. Finally, we can build up the jaw and gums as necessary with grafts. Truly, it is never too late to restore the mouth to good health.

Learn More about Tooth Loss and Poor Oral Health

To learn more about the relationship between tooth loss and poor oral health, please contact Greater Long Island Dental.

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