covering smileMany patients worry about losing teeth as they grow older, and some mistakenly believe that it’s a natural part of aging. Approximately 69% of adults in the United States lose at least one permanent tooth by the age of 44, and many more exhibit dental health issues, like gum disease, that can lead to tooth loss if not adequately treated. The tragedy of losing teeth is that it shouldn’t happen; we only grow one set of permanent teeth in a lifetime, and they’re vital to processing food and speaking clearly. To help you understand the importance of retaining natural teeth, or replacing them if lost, your Richardson general dentist, Dr. Diep Truong, explains how tooth loss affects more than a smile’s appearance.

How Remaining Teeth React

Aside from making your smile more appealing, a full set of teeth also bears an impressive amount of pressure from biting and chewing. The layout of healthy teeth helps them absorb the impact by displacing the pressure. When a tooth is lost, those that remain are responsible for the weight it once bore, and the teeth closest to the gap may drift toward it trying to take up the slack. Shifting teeth can throw a bite off balance, and are at a significantly higher risk for developing tooth decay, gum disease, and other bacteria-induced afflictions.

How Tooth Loss Affects Facial Structures

There’s more to every tooth than meets the eye. Below the gum line, teeth’s roots extend into the jawbone, which supports and sustains teeth through these roots. When you bite and chew, the stimulated tooth roots facilitate a healthy flow of nutrient-rich blood to the jawbone. When a tooth is lost, the bone around the site is resorbed and the body redirects the nutrients elsewhere. Over time, the jawbone can deteriorate from nutrient deficiency, lose its ability to sustain remaining teeth, and lead to further tooth loss.

Restore Your Smile with Help from Your Richardson General Dentist

If you’ve suffered tooth loss and would like to learn your best options for restoring your smile, then schedule an appointment with Dr. Truong by calling our Richardson general dentist’s office at (972) 437-6000. With a second office in Dallas, we proudly serve new and existing patients from Kessler Park, Duncanville, Grand Prairie, Richardson, Carrolton, Garland, Addison, Farmers Branch, and all surrounding communities.