- February 29, 2016
It’s a scary thought, losing a tooth. Many of us even have nightmares about it that leave us waking up in a cold sweat! It’s no wonder, too: your teeth are a fundamental part of your life! You don’t even really think about your teeth until something goes wrong with them, but once it does you’re constantly aware!
Losing a single tooth can be a sign of something bad, and no matter how it’s lost the risks are the same: the potential for a domino effect of lost teeth that won’t end until every single one is gone. We’ve stopped plenty of cases of tooth loss at our Shorewood office, and today we want to tell you why stopping tooth loss early is so important.
The Beginning: A Single Tooth
You can lose a tooth for any number of reasons. Most commonly it’s due to gum disease, followed by tooth decay and traumatic injury. It really doesn’t matter how you lose a tooth because it causes the beginning of the same biological process in each instance.
Teeth are supported by your gums as well as the bone sockets that house them. The thin bone in your jaw only really serves the purpose of being a space to hold your teeth. When there isn’t a tooth there anymore your body takes it as a signal to resorb the bone into your body.
Just losing a bit of bone at the front and back of the socket wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but it doesn’t end there. Bone loss hits the entire socket, leading to a loss of support for the neighboring teeth as well. That’s how the domino effect begins.
The Dominos Start To Fall
The initial thing that you might notice is loosening in those teeth that were next to the lost one. As bone loss begins your body does what it assumes is best for the stability of those teeth and your entire mouth: it tries to close the gap.
When your teeth start sliding they continue to loosen, and your bite starts to change too. A changing bite means that other teeth need to loosen to adjust, and there’s where all the trouble begins.
Those two teeth that are moving into the missing one’s gap will never quite become stable. As a matter of fact they probably won’t even make it to a meeting point. What will happen is they will loosen to the point where your jaw and gums can’t support them anymore, and they they’ll fall out.
At this point you can probably see what’s happening: the cycle just repeats. More and more teeth are lost until there’s no more to fall out!
This process isn’t just a concern for the row of teeth that suffered the initial loss, either: your shifting bite affects the opposite teeth and can make them loosen as well. If they start to loosen the whole process can start there too.
Preventing The Domino Effect
There’s no one tooth that’s any more important than another when it comes to keeping your smile in one piece. That’s why it’s essential to stop the loss of teeth from the very beginning with a dental implant.
An implant is a titanium screw that perfectly mimics the size and shape of a tooth root. They’re placed in your jaw exactly where a missing tooth was, and fill the role of that tooth perfectly. Because they’re made of titanium they are able to bond to your bone, forming a strong and lifelong bond that will leave you with the next best thing to a natural tooth.
Implants are restored with advanced ceramic crowns that are custom built to match the appearance of your natural teeth. Before long you probably won’t even remember which one is the implant!
The best part, of course, is that implants stop bone loss in its tracks. Because the implant bonds to your bone it strengthens and protects you from future problems, making it the superior method for restoring lost teeth.
Don’t Wait – That Bone Won’t Get Stronger!
Whether you’ve just lost a tooth or are considering getting an implant to replace a bridge we’re here to help! Never hesitate to contact our Shorewood dentist office with questions or to schedule an appointment today!
You can reach us at 815-768-1615 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!