This is the photograph of a 62year old female which shows how the missing teeth in an arch affect the health of the teeth in the opposite arch.
All the lower molars in this lady are missing – she got these extracted years ago. Now, I noticed that the upper molars have moved downwards into the territory of those missing teeth. It happens in those cases where after extraction of a tooth, no replacement is got done by artificial teeth.
Clinical significance of such abnormal movement of teeth is that it damages their relationship with the adjoining teeth leading to food impaction, periodontal problem and at times it provides conducive environment for caries development. In this picture you can see that the upper molars have moved quite a lot over a number of years. I have seen in my practice that in some cases this movement into the territory of those missing teeth is so much that at times there is no space for the accommodating the artificial teeth.
You must be getting curious to know why she had come to me ? –she had come for some problem in the upper molar on his left side (she is pointing finger towards the tooth). Unfortunately, the lower molars are missing and the left side upper molars have also moved downwards.
The message of this post is that we must endeavor to get the missing teeth replaced so that we are able to restore masticatory sufficiency and efficiency and thereby ensure the health of the corresponding teeth in the opposite arch.