Many of the consequences of tooth loss are obvious. Gaps left in your smile or the diminished ability to chew and speak properly are common complaints. However, the loss of a tooth can affect much more than the simple attractiveness of your smile. Many of the side effects of tooth loss can have a profound influence on the way your mouth works as a whole. Park Ridge implant dentists, Dr. Maria and Thanasi Loukas, explore one of the more common issues which often occurs when one or more lost teeth throw your bite off balance: temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
A Healthy Bite
A healthy human mouth is designed to operate smoothly and efficiently to protect its various components from the pressures of biting and chewing. To accomplish this smooth operation, your teeth and jaws must be perfectly aligned and balanced. If not, then the joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull (called temporomandibular joints, or TMJs) can become damaged from the strain of a crooked bite. Your teeth, specifically, should be positioned in a manner to evenly displace the pressure of your bite and should fit comfortably with their opposites to do so. When one is missing, the pressure displacement is disturbed and your remaining teeth can suffer the consequences.
Overworking your Jaw
Even if tooth loss throws your bite off balance, your mouth still has to remain reasonably straight as you bite, chew, and speak. To accomplish this, your jaw has to work extra hard and the increased strain and pressure can damage the joints and muscles that control it. Known as TMJ disorder, the discomfort that results from this damage can often be debilitating, and can range from a stiff, sore, and/or locked jaw to severe chronic migraines, earaches, and neck pain. Replacing your lost teeth with a dental implant-supported prosthetic can help restore the balance to your bite and prevent or ease the discomfort of TMJ disorder.
Visit your Park Ridge Implant Dentists
To learn more about the continuing consequences of tooth loss, including TMJ disorder, schedule an appointment with your Park Ridge implant dentists by calling Loukas General Dentistry at (847) 696-1919. Located in the 60068 area, we proudly serve patients from Park Ridge and the surrounding Chicago communities.