How Teeth Add Years To Your Life

Posted on Apr 19, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Studies have shown that denture wearers live, on average, ten years less than adults who have their natural teeth.

Years ago, many adults assumed they’d lose their natural teeth as a ‘normal’ part of the aging process. Today, we know that is not the case. Or, it doesn’t have to be. Typically, losing natural teeth is well within our control. And, keeping our natural teeth is an important component of maintaining good overall health.

Natural teeth are held by the upper or lower jaw, with their roots embedded in the bone. This dependable, stable foundation of bone allows us to bite and chew thoroughly and comfortably. The ability to eat a diet of protein rich meats, fiber rich vegetables laden with vitamins and minerals, and healthy fruits helps our bodies reap the nutrition it needs to function properly.

When dentures slip or ‘give’ while trying to bite and chew, it can cause discoOlder Couple Eatingmfort and lead to embarrassing moments when dining with others. This is why denture wearers will gravitate to foods that are soft and dissolve easily in the mouth. Unfortunately, these choices typically lack the fiber and nutritional makeup needed to keep our systems in proper order.

Hence, denture wearers tend to take more medications and have more gastro-intestinal problems than those who have their natural teeth. Because of fearing awkward slips, many start to decline invitations to outings that are centered around food. This decrease in social involvement is not good for one’s health, either.

Another problem is bone loss. When tooth roots are no longer embedded in the jaw bone, the bone begins to shrink. This decline in bone mass causes changes in facial appearance that are aging far beyond one’s actual years. For example, when the chin points and the mouth seems to collapse inward, this creates a ‘granny look.’ Perhaps this is why female denture wearers tend to wear less makeup than those who have their natural teeth. They simply feel old and are resigned to look it as well.

As a Periodontist, my specialty includes the diagnosis and placement of Dental Implants. One of the main benefits of Dental Implants is their ability to halt bone loss. Because implants are placed in the jaw bone, they mimic the presence of natural tooth roots. And, since they are held in the bone, Dental Implants restore the ability to bite and chew that is comfortable and worry-free.

What some of my patients share is how their Dental Implants are their “secret.” Dental Implants restore a smile that is healthy and natural looking. So, no one needs to know your teeth are not your real teeth except you! And, you’ll enjoy knowing they are designed to last your lifetime.

If you wear dentures, you’ll know when bone loss has begun. Your dentures will move in spite of denture adhesives and pastes. Small particles of food, such as nut pieces or seeds, will become trapped under the denture and pierce tender gum tissues. And, even though relines will improve the movement and discomfort for a time, the process of bone loss will continue until, eventually, even relines are of little help.

Protect your smile, your health and your confidence. Look into Dental Implants and learn which are most appropriate for your needs. You deserve to live a full, rich life and Dental Implants can help you do just that! Call 828-274-9440 for a consultation appointment.

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