Many adults have one or two or more missing teeth. Some even miss all of their back teeth. The posterior teeth play a vital role in chewing. They also affect overall bite and help ease the excessive pressure on the front teeth brought about by eating. As such, they have an incredibly crucial role in the oral cavity. According to Dr. Andrew and Urban Smiles Family Dental, losing your back teeth can have a series of negative consequences even on the remaining teeth, ligaments, jaw muscles, joints and gums. Such include:
- Decrease in chewing efficiency
- Loss of the alveolar jaw bone as well as reduced residual bony ridges
- Painful dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint, which plays a vital role in connecting the skull with the lower jaw
- Rotation, tipping as well as migration of the adjacent teeth
- Extrusion of unopposed teeth
With such risks, you’d think that people would place an urgency on replacing lost back teeth as compared to the front teeth. Due to their exposure, many people prefer to replace their lost front teeth and assume that since no one can see the posterior, there is hardly any need to replace them. However, from a dental point of view, it is important that you consider replacing them at least for the loss of function created by their absence if not aesthetics.
It’s also important to note that just because posterior teeth are out of view, losing one or more of them won’t change your appearance with time. A good example of an effect of losing back teeth is that the facial height reduces and this becomes incredibly visible after a while. Unfortunately, that is not the worst you will experience after losing back teeth. Some of the consequences mentioned above, say for instance shifting of teeth, can set off a chain of reactions that eventually weaken the overall dental system. With a back tooth missing, the adjacent teeth shift at an accelerated rate and if they shift too much, they can become worthless with time. Shifting of the teeth can also change the relationship of how the teeth and jaw are attached, increasing the risk of periodontal disease.
Replacement can help curb some of the above consequences. Professional dentists like Dr. Andrew recognize implants as an effective way of replacing missing posterior teeth. Some of the obvious benefits include their ability to contribute to the bite, easy to clean, free standing restoration and the fact that the restoration process doesn’t affect the adjacent teeth. Bridgework and removable partial denture are also effective solutions for curbing the effects of missing back teeth.
Urban Smiles Family Dental Staff Writer: