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A prolonged period of tooth loss may cause a reduction in biting force because of extension of the gap between the teeth or become prone to cavities because of plaque buildup. In addition, prolonged tooth loss may lead to the following:
The opposite tooth will extrude gradually because of the lack of biting tooth.
The teeth adjacent to the lost tooth will become inclined gradually in the defective direction.
A prolonged period of tooth loss will result in unbalanced alignment of the teeth in the residual dentition.
Biting will become unbalanced due to movement of teeth around the lost tooth.
As people who have lost many teeth are prone to chew foods only on the side with more residual teeth, unbalanced biting often occurs, leading to temporomandibular disorders, stiff neck, headache, and distortion of the body.
As tooth loss decreases bone mass in the gum ridge, the gum ridge appears to become lowered.
The bone supporting the tooth becomes thin due to the lack of adequate functional pressure.
This phenomenon is caused by the advance of gum disease or the prolonged use of ill-fitting dentures.
Defects in the back teeth cause the cheek and chin lines to turn inward. In addition, as gum loss occurs over time, the cheeks appear to sink or the chin becomes flabby.
Defects in the front teeth often cause wrinkles around the mouth.
Treatments for tooth loss include bridges, dentures, and implants.