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  What will happen without treatment?

When you lose your teeth, you gradually lose the bone that supports them. As this bone disappears, problems with other teeth nearby and a lack of support for dentures, partials and bridges increase. These could include pain, mobility, lack of retention for prosthetics, sharp, painful ridges, mobile gum tissue and sore spots. The tongue enlarges to accommodate spaces of missing teeth. With tooth loss, a five-fold decrease in function occurs and the diet shifts to softer foods. Also, when bone is lost, numbness to the lower lip or even the possibility of fracture of the jaw rises. Since the bone is deteriorating, it will spread and deteriorate around healthy teeth and ultimately cause the loss of those teeth. I think everyone's heard of the "domino effect". Here's a very easy way to explain what happens. Picture a brick wall; take a brick right out of the middle of the wall. What happens? Eventually, the brick above starts to fall in from lack of support, the bricks to the side start shifting toward each other and those eventually fall out; then the process starts all over for those bricks nearest them. It's a similar process in the mouth. In addition, this progresssion will affect the ability to provide the same treatment in the later stages of bone loss than if treatment had been started earlier in the process. It's much better to replace a tooth BEFORE all of the side effects kick in. By waiting, you risk the possibility of not being able to provide the same, simple type of treatment that would have been possible earlier.

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