Problems Experienced When Jaw Bone Shrinks

Posted on Jul 05, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

When natural teeth are lost, there are a number of ways to restore the appearance of your smile. However, there is only one way to maintain dependable, secure biting and chewing – Dental Implants. Here’s why…

Natural tooth roots provide stimulation to the jaw bone, which preserves its ability to maintain a healthy mass. When tooth roots are missing, the jaw bone loses the stimulation needed to keep blood flow active. Over time, this results in ‘resorption,’ or a decline in bone mass.

The resorption process causes the gum ridge to flatten. The pressure on the gum ridge from wearing dentures actually accelerates the rate of bone loss. For those who sleep in their dentures, this 24/7 pressure speeds the rate of bone loss even more.

When a denture is first made, it is designed to conform to the unique contours of the bone ‘arch’ where tooth roots were once positioned. The reason that denture wearers commonly experience movement or slips is because the denture’s foundation is shrinking. Even with the help of adhesives or pastes, this dwindling foundation means a denture is likely to move while eating.

A new denture may fit securely for the first five years. However, as the jaw bone continues to lose height, relines may help on a temporary basis. As bone loss continues, relines to your denture or partial will need to be done at more frequent intervals each time.

Healthy Jaw Bone Vs Bone Loss From Wearing Dentures

Healthy Jaw Bone Vs Bone Loss From Wearing Dentures

One year after natural teeth have been extracted, denture wearers average losing about 25 percent of this bone ridge. After three years, the average decline in bone is approximately 60 percent. Biting becomes risky. Chewing is more difficult. The biting force of natural teeth is about 250 lbs. while an average denture wearer is able to apply about 5 lbs. of force.

Want to see the extent of resorption you’ve experienced? Begin by looking in the mirror without your denture in place. Your mouth may appear sunken-in with your chin more pointed than before tooth loss. Other signs of bone loss include deep wrinkling around the mouth, the corners of the mouth turning downward (even when smiling), and jowls from the detachment of facial muscles.

There is a solution to the ongoing challenges of bone loss. Today’s implant dentistry offers excellent options to replace missing teeth and overcome the problems associated with bone loss (even when bone loss is severe). Implant systems such as All-On-4 can be positioned in minimal bone using just four implants. Placed at specific angles, All-On-4 can support a full, non-removable denture in minimal bone.

There are many reasons so many adults are now choosing Dental Implants for tooth replacement.  They halt the process of bone loss while restoring chewing comfort and confidence when speaking or laughing.

A Periodontist specializes in the treatment of gum tissues as well as the diagnosis and placement of Dental Implants. Although the failure rate of Dental Implants is rather low, having a successful outcome can greatly depend on the Doctor who selects and places your implants.

Begin with a consultation by calling 828-274-9440. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and discuss our many comfort options, including Oral and I.V. Sedation.

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