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 and end up with missing teeth in San Antonio, TX, that area of your gums no longer has anything to protect.
So, what happens to the excess gum tissue? Before talking about your gums, let’s talk about what causes you to lose your teeth in the first place.
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.
Of course, regardless of whether the core issue is gum disease or trauma, you’re left with missing teeth in San Antonio, TX. And that’s when you will start to see some gum-related issues.
Effects To Gum Tissue After Losing a Tooth
Your gum tissue provides a protective seal around your teeth when it’s gone. 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 Gum-Focused Effects Of Tooth Loss
Tooth loss has a significant impact on your overall oral health, not just on your gums. 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.
What to Do to Prevent Damaged or Unhealthy Gums After Losing Teeth
With all that being said, you don’t have to accept that your gums will be affected after losing one tooth or several teeth. Instead, you can work with a periodontist and prosthodontist to repair your smile and restore the health of your gums.
Below are some treatment options, as well as their pros and cons:
A dental bridge can cosmetically fill the gap caused by a missing tooth located between two adjacent teeth. This helps avoid movement of the adjacent teeth and completes your smile. However, it still means that bone will be resorbed at the site of the missing tooth. The resorption process could put your gums at risk for developing gum disease. Plus, you will need to replace your dental bridge about every 15 years depending upon the quality of the materials used.
Dental implants are surgical solutions that permanently replace your missing tooth with a prosthetic one. Once placed, the implant should last a lifetime. You will only need to get the crown (the visible part) restored after a couple of decades of normal wear. Unlike dental bridges, dental implants allow your bone and gums to function normally. However, dental implants are more costly than bridges.
What if you have a full arch of missing teeth in San Antonio, TX? If you want, you can try traditional dentures that are removed every evening. Traditional dentures will restore your smile visually but cannot protect your gums. Additionally, dentures may irritate your gums as the bone under your gum line begins to shift due to progressive bone loss.
Full Arch Dental Implants:
Want to give your whole mouth a smile makeover after losing all the teeth in one arch? Full arch dental implants are overdentures supported by a few precisely placed dental implants. They keep your gums from receding and, with proper care, keep your mouth looking and feeling its best. Like single dental implants, full arch dental implants are more expensive than dentures. Yet they’re superbly comfortable and don’t need to be removed.
How Will You Pamper Your Gums by Replacing Your Missing Teeth in San Antonio, TX?
It’s time to take the wellness of your gums seriously. If you have lost at least one tooth, call Excellent Dental Specialists at (210) 794-7747. We’ll set you up to meet one of our dental team members right away to talk about the most up-to-date solutions for your situation… and the happiness of your gums. Schedule your next appointment in our office by San Antonio, TX today!