Welcome back to Dr. Lockwood’s dental implants blog! A few weeks ago, we discussed how tooth loss can lead to other dental health problems, which include both tooth decay and gum disease. The consequences of tooth loss don’t end there, however. Apart from gum disease and dental caries, tooth loss can also result in drastic changes to your appearance. Not only can a missing tooth burden your smile with a large, unappealing gap, but it can also lead to bone loss and changes to the shape of your face. Dental implants can reverse and eliminate bone loss, and by doing so they can also help take years off your appearance.
Tooth Loss and Wrinkling
The jawbone acts like a frame, around which our muscles and skin are organized. It’s the jaw, then, that defines the shape of the lower part of the face. Case in point, one reason why some orthodontists recommend correcting overbites is because the procedure can drastically improve the aesthetics of your jawline. Tooth loss, however, can put the strength, density, and volume of the jaw at risk.
When we chew gum, speak to our friends, or eat dinner with our families, our jaw is receiving exercise. The energy of these activities is transferred to the jawbone via the teeth, and the pressure and force subsequently cause the jaw’s bone tissue to tear and strain. Much like a muscle, the jaw responds to these stimulations by generating new bone tissue, strengthening the affected areas and maintaining the natural shape of the jaw. Without teeth, this organic, biological process of tissue growth is disturbed and the jawbone suffers as a result.
If tooth loss goes untreated, the affected area of the jaw will no longer receive the exercise it needs to stay healthy and the bone tissue will begin to wear. Over time, the jawbone will deteriorate and it will shrink in size. As this happens, the shape of the face will begin to change as well, giving it what’s commonly referred to as a “sunken appearance.” The area around the cheek bones and the jawline will start to look hollow, which can make you look sickly. Furthermore, the amount of skin on the face won’t necessarily reduce proportionally, and much it will be in excess. This can result in the wrinkling of the skin around the jawline, which can make you appear older and less healthy.
Dental implants not only stop and reverse bone loss, but they can also smooth out any wrinkles and folds that have resulted from tooth loss. Implants act like real teeth in that they have roots, and these roots will incite the healthy process of bone regeneration that our jaws rely on. In fact, dental implants rely on that process in order to provide the numerous benefits they do, including unmatched strength, stability, and longevity. By bringing the jaw to full health and by continually stimulating bone growth, implants will help to keep your skin wrinkle-free and your face beautiful.
Dental Care You Deserve in San Diego, CA
The consequences of tooth loss aren’t worth it. That’s why Americans are turning to dental implants, which comprehensively address your dental care needs. Choose the right option for you and contact our La Jolla, CA dental office to schedule your no-obligation, one-on-one consultation with distinguished Dr. Lockwood: .