Timing is everything. Or is it?
We’ve shared the importance of treating missing or damaged teeth. The use-it-or-lose-it principle applies here.
Consider weight training.
Fitness training with weights builds and grows muscle. Yet, if training is stopped, muscles can atrophy (shrink) from non-use.
Muscle atrophy will occasionally lead to injury. Your surrounding muscles begin to bear the load and take on more of the stress to compensate for your injured tissue.
A bone can be stressed during weight training too. Bone expands to support adjoining muscles and it can atrophy like muscle.
Teeth perform a type of weight training for your gums and bone tissue. Biting and chewing are common exercises that strengthen and maintain your mouth’s bone and tissue health.
Why tooth loss is risky.
If you lose a tooth there’s reduced chewing and biting in the area of loss. The bone no longer holds your tooth and atrophy can occur.
Over time, the gap left by a missing or damaged tooth will become weaker. Your bone and tissue will shrink.
More specifically, vertical bone loss can occur. This effects the height and supportive build-up required to hold your tooth/teeth in place.
But that’s not all…
Lateral bone loss also occurs. The width of your bone can shrink and provide less of a foundation for tooth replacement.
The height and width of your bone and tissue are essential to preserving your oral health. If you ignore a missing tooth long enough the damage is more difficult to correct.
Dental implants exercise (stimulate) the bone. And timing is everything when you’re considering dental implant treatment.
In fact, as much as 60% of your bone mass can be lost in the first six months. The rate of bone loss varies person to person.
Dental implants require bone as an anchor – vertically and laterally. Some alternative treatments, such as bone grafting, can precede your dental implant treatment if necessary.
The more time you allow post tooth loss, the riskier (and costlier) the corrective treatment is. It’s important to treat your lost tooth sooner rather than later.
Avoid adding expense to your tooth loss treatment. Consult with us about a dental implant.
Remember timing IS everything.
Question: Have you lost a tooth? What has kept you from replacing it? What question(s) can we answer about treatment and timing? Comment.