When teeth are lost or removed from the mouth and not replaced, it causes significant changes to the surrounding bone structure, which increases in proportion to the number of teeth missing.
Healthy bone is maintained through stimulation provided by the everyday functioning of intact teeth. When a tooth is lost, the bone is resorbed into the body due to lack of activity, causing the surrounding teeth to drift and the bite to be altered.
If more teeth are lost, this effect is more pronounced, causing drastic reduction of healthy bone tissue in the jaw.
As bone and tooth loss progress, it alters the structure and appearance of the face due to a decrease in what is called the vertical dimension- the length between the tip of the nose and chin.
This can cause premature wrinkling around the mouth, weakening of the facial muscles, and thinning of the lips- ultimately creating the appearance of premature aging.
It is important to consult with your doctor to develop a treatment plan unique to your situation that best addresses missing teeth while reducing the potential consequences caused by bone loss.