Losing a tooth is bad enough to go through. It can make you feel like your smile is embarrassing, or you just may be constantly aware of a gap in the rows of your teeth. However, that's not the only problem that it can cause. It can also change the way that your face looks.
How the Face Changes
After a tooth is lost, the face often changes as a result. This is especially apparent with older people who have lost a number of teeth, but it can happen at any age and even after losing just one tooth. In short, losing teeth makes your jaw appear weaker and thinner, which can cause drooping skin and even make you look like you're carrying more weight than you are.
Why it Happens
There's one main reason why this happens: your teeth are an integral part of maintaining the strength and thickness of your jaw bone.
When your teeth are lost, a certain mechanism comes to an end. You see, when you chew on your real teeth, they transfer pressure down deep into the bones themselves. This pressure encourages the bone to grow new bone cells to replace old and dying ones. This means that your jaw is always kept in a state of healthiness and doesn't lose any of its density. However, if your teeth are lost, so is this mechanism, and thinning patches of bone can develop as a result. The appearance change will be more noticeable depending on how many teeth you've lost.
What to Do About It
The good news is that there's a solution to this problem: dental implants. Tooth replacements like dentures and bridges won't help here because they don't extend down into the jaw like dental implants and real teeth do.
This is the whole reason why dental implants can restore this functionality. They are the same length as teeth and end up being integrated into the jaw bone, so they can transfer pressure the same way that a real tooth once did.
Another bit of good news is that even if you've already lost some bone density, dental implants can help to get it back. As soon as your implant can be chewed on, the bone growth mechanism will start up again and your bones will gradually grow stronger and thicker, which should help to restore your appearance to what it was before you lost your teeth.
For more information, reach out to a dentist in your area that offers dental implant services.