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Effects of Tooth Loss

Effects of tooth loss can show on your face as wrinkles and sagging skin. After loss of teeth, your skin sags, since the bones of the face no longer offer enough support. This causes significant damage to the look of your face, including front, profile, and the definition of the jawline.

Physiology of Bone

The bone in the body functions like a muscle.  Muscle contraction develops bigger and powerful.  Bone stimulation or exercising, it makes it powerful.  

Natural teeth and dental implants can stimulate the bone of the jaw. A tooth, or a dental implant, maintain the dimensions and contour of bone. Bone requires the stimulation of tooth roots to Keep form and density.

Missing teeth causes loss of bone stimulation. This decreases density and dimensions of the bone.  This causes a reduction of height and width of bone. Dentures don't stimulate bone.  Patients wearing dentures lose bone. People think loose dentures are due to age or weight reduction.


  1. Effect on the Jaw Bone
  2. Effect on Soft Tissue
  3. Effects of Bone Loss on Facial Appearance
  4. Health Effects of Tooth Loss
  5. Emotional aspects of tooth loss

Effect of missing teeth on the Jaw Bone

Only natural teeth and dental implants can stimulate bone.

The loss of bone first results in decreased bone width. This causes 25% reduction of bone width in the first year. It also causes a one-inch reduction in bone height. The remaining narrow bone causes pain and discomfort. Paint happens when the denture loads the thin gum.

Wearing partial dentures damages the remaining teeth to damage.  The clasps keeping the partial denture weaken the teeth and lead to tooth loss.

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Horizontal Bone Loss

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Vertical Bone Loss

Missing Teeth & Gumm Tissue

The gum thickness decreases. The gum developed sores.  Muscle attachments cause the denture to move in the mouth.  The tongue of the expands after tooth loss.  Furthermore, reduction of motor skills due to aging create more difficulties.

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Outcomes of Bone Loss on Facial Look

As tooth loss increases Facial aging increases.  The loss of teeth may add even 10 years to the face. The shrinkage of facial bones and reduction of height of the face cause collapse of overlying muscle and skin. Bone loss is most significant during the first year after tooth loss but continues afterwards. Tooth loss causes:

  • Deepening on lips of lines and the lips. 
  • A bite reduction that is quick because of vertical bone loss.  
  • The chin rotates upwards.  
  • Thinning of the lip because of lack of reduction and assistance. 
  • The lip becomes long because of reduction and gravity of muscle tone.  Loss of teeth accelerates  lengthening at age of their lips. 
  • The nose appears longer due to gain in the angle. 
  • Bone reduction induces tissue to sag across the jaw. 

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Health Effects of missing teeth

  • low chewing performance.
  • Lower intakes of fruit and vegetables and vitamin A.
  • Lower consumption of quality foods leads to digestive problems and negatively affects over-all health.

Emotional Aspects of tooth loss

the emotional effects of total tooth loss varies ..

  • Many people feel effect on their social life. They are concerned with kissing and romantic situations.
  • Many denture wearers rarely leave their home environment.
  • 88% of the patients claimed difficulty with speech. 25% of that population reporting very difficult problems.
  • Half of the patients avoided many foods,  7% claimed they were able to chew more effectively without the denture.

Esthetic effects of tooth loss

As you get older, your face changes. When aging is combined with teeth loss, facial changes are quickened. Teeth loss can make your face to look 10 or more years older. If you have a Short face, you may suffer from greater bone loss after tooth loss. This means more aging of the face if you lose your teeth.

As explained earlier, loss of teeth causes shrinkage of facial bones and reduction of height of the face. This results in collapse of the overlying muscle and skin causing facial wrinkles. Changes are significant when combined with the reduction in collagen caused by aging. The facial changed include:

  • Marionette lines: Skin creases that run straight from the corners of the mouth. Marionette lines make you look sad.
  • Nasolabial folds: A deepening of the nasolabial folds and an increase in the depth of other vertical lines are made worse by the bone loss in the upper front jaw.
  • Thinning of lips: The lack of support, combined with loss of muscle tone and reduction in collagen, causes thinning of the upper and lower lips.
  • Long upper lip:  The loss of muscle tone in the upper lip increases with loss of teeth. The lengthening of the upper lip, which normally caused by aging, occurs at a younger age.
  • Drooping mouth corners: Drooping mouth corners with downward direction of the angles of the mouth is called sad mouth. It makes you look sad and stessed.
  • Poor facial appearance: As the height of the face decreases, the chin rotates forward giving a poorer facial appearance.
  • Decrease in facial expression: Facial expressions are reduced by loss of muscle tonicity, especially in women
  • Sagging skin: Skin sags dues to reduction in the bony frame of the face. Sagging skin along the lower jaw produces jowls and lack of definition of the jaw line.
  • The nose:  Loss of fullness and support of the upper lip makes the nose appear larger.

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Deep nasolabial folds & marionette lines

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Sagging skin - Jowls

How do I avoid the effects of tooth loss?

  1. Avoid tooth loss with preventive dental care, especially if you have systemic risks.
  2. If you lose a tooth, get tooth replacement immediately. Tooth replacement can be done with a bridge, a denture, or a dental implant.
  3. Understand that methods of tooth replacement are not the same. Replacing teeth with dentures does not stop or reduce the bone loss. In fact, bone loss occurs at a greater rate with dentures.
  4. Get dental implants. Only dental implants can stop or reduce bone loss. 
  5. Treat facial wrinkles as soon as they develop. Neglecting treating wrinkles causes further damage. Wrinkles can be treated with dermal fillers, thread lift, and Botox. Thin lips can be treated with lip augmentation.

Call Bucktown Dental Associates in Chicago if you have any questions or would like a free consultation. 

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