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What happens with a prolonged period of tooth loss?

A prolonged period of tooth loss may cause a reduction in biting force because of extension of the gap between the teeth or become prone to cavities because of plaque buildup. In addition, prolonged tooth loss may lead to the following:


Extrusion of the opposite tooth

The opposite tooth will extrude gradually because of the lack of biting tooth.


Movement and inclination of the adjacent teeth

The teeth adjacent to the lost tooth will become inclined gradually in the defective direction.
A prolonged period of tooth loss will result in unbalanced alignment of the teeth in the residual dentition.


Unbalanced biting

Biting will become unbalanced due to movement of teeth around the lost tooth.
As people who have lost many teeth are prone to chew foods only on the side with more residual teeth, unbalanced biting often occurs, leading to temporomandibular disorders, stiff neck, headache, and distortion of the body.


Lowering of gum ridge height

As tooth loss decreases bone mass in the gum ridge, the gum ridge appears to become lowered.
The bone supporting the tooth becomes thin due to the lack of adequate functional pressure.
This phenomenon is caused by the advance of gum disease or the prolonged use of ill-fitting dentures.


Esthetic problems

Defects in the back teeth cause the cheek and chin lines to turn inward. In addition, as gum loss occurs over time, the cheeks appear to sink or the chin becomes flabby.
Defects in the front teeth often cause wrinkles around the mouth.

Treatments for tooth loss

Treatments for tooth loss include bridges, dentures, and implants.

  • Bridge (insurance coverage)
  • Denture (insurance coverage)
  • Implant (not covered under insurance)
The treatment method must not be selected based only on treatment costs.
Choice of the best method according to the condition and final appearance of each patient’s mouth will lead to long-term dental health.

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