Your gums are an important feature of your mouth. They sit snugly against your teeth, providing a protective seal to keep out dangerous oral bacteria. When you lose a tooth, that area of your gums no longer has anything to protect. So, what happens to the excess gum tissue?
What Causes Tooth Loss?
The most common cause of tooth loss is gum disease. When your gums become irritated, they pull away from your teeth, creating an empty space into which bacteria fall. Under the gums, they attack your jawbone and the structures that support your teeth. Eventually, your teeth become loose, and fall out.
Trauma is another cause of tooth loss. Any type of injury to the facial region can loosen a tooth, or knock it out completely.
Effects to Gum Tissue
Your gum tissue provides a protective seal around your teeth. When the tooth falls out, the gums no longer have anything to seal around. As a result, the gum tissue begins to shrink back. Not only that, but the quality of your gum tissue decreases, becoming thin in the area around the empty space. Both of these factors can affect the adjacent teeth. Your gums can recede against these teeth, exposing more surface area. Your roots can even become exposed. This increases your risk for tooth decay and sensitivity.
Other Effects of Tooth Loss
Tooth loss has a significant impact on your overall oral health. Not only do you lose gum tissue, your jawbone begins to weaken around the area where your tooth used to be. This can cause your teeth to shift in your mouth, moving into the empty space. When this happens, your bite changes, which can lead to uneven wear on your teeth and problems with your temporomandibular joint.
If you have lost a tooth, it is important to have it replaced. Speak with your dentist to discuss the best option for your mouth. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more, please call us today at (210) 598-8933.