Aside from the obvious aesthetic problems that come from missing teeth, there are serious concerns about bone loss and shifting teeth over time that can affect your health.  Many Americans are embarrassed by missing teeth but don't realize that there may be much more at stake than their appearance and self-esteem.  
Oral Hygiene  
   With all your teeth intact, individual teeth are fixed in place which provides stability to you bite.  Once a tooth is missing, there is plenty of room for the other teeth to shift and grow into the spot.  This can lead to changes in your bite and difficulty with chewing.  This can be inconvenient, uncomfortable and much harder to care for your teeth once they shift.  Those hard to reach spots that you must fight to brush and floss can be even harder to get to once your teeth start to move.  
Tooth Wear
   When a tooth is lost and not replaced quickly the remaining teeth typically suffer from additional wear as they experience an increased workload due to the missing tooth.  In other words, the remaining teeth wear down quicker than normal.  As they erode prematurely, they are at a higher risk for breaking, chipping or even falling out.  
 Bone Loss  
   Each tooth has a root that is implanted in the jaw bone.  In addition to holding the tooth in place; it also helps to stimulate bone growth in the jaw.  Without this stimulation from the tooth root, the bone will slowly be reabsorbed back into the body over time causing the entire jaw to shift.  This may negatively alter the look of the face or the smile.  Fortunately, dental implants are placed directly in the jawbone and stimulate growth exactly as a natural tooth root would.  
Concerned About Missing Teeth?  
   If you have missing teeth and are concerned about the long-term effects, call Dr. Ahn at Marin Periodontics Dental Group in Larkspur, CA, to schedule an appointment today.  A periodontist can examine your teeth, gums and jaw to determine the best way to replace your missing teeth.