Tooth Loss Results In A Shrinking Jaw Bone

Posted on Nov 11, 2013 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

If you wear a denture or partial, you can assume you’ve lost jaw bone mass. This is due to “bone resorption,” (a shrinking in the mass of bone).

In a healthy mouth, the upper and lower jaw bone support natural tooth roots. While the roots of each tooth enjoy the jaw bone as it’s foundation, the tooth roots stimulate the bone, helping it maintain healthy dimensions.

After teeth are removed, the jaw begins to shrink without the interaction of tooth roots. In a mouth where all natural teeth are missing, the process of bone resorption actually speeds up from the pressure of dentures or partials. For those who sleep in dentures, this rate of resorption occurs at a constant and more rapid pace.

The extent of bone loss experienced can be visible by looking in a mirror without dentures in place. You may see deep wrinkles around your mouth and corners of your mouth turn downward. Your chin may be more pointed than before you lost your natural teeth. Your mouth may also appear collapsed in your face or you may notice jowls starting to form. Dentures have a tendency to conceal bone loss because they fill out the face when in place. However, the problems of losing jaw bone mass go far beyond facial cosmetics.

Once bone loss begins, it occurs at a more rapid pace as you age. This is why a denture that fit well when first made will eventually move around when you bite and chew. Over time, even denture adhesives and relines won’t make eating comfortable.

This is why so many adults are now turning to dental implants for tooth replacement. They provide a dependable foundation for biting and chewing a thick steak and crisp apple without worry. They speak and laugh with others confidently and without the fear of embarrassing slips. Because dental implants restore the presence of natural tooth roots, they also halt (or greatly slow) the process of bone resorption.

An added advantage of dental implants is that they are a wise investment. While dental implants are more costly, initially, than a denture or partial, they are designed to last your lifetime. With proper care, dental implants will enable you to eat and laugh confidently and comfortably.

Modern dentistry offers exceptional options in implant dentistry for many situations, including those who’ve experienced severe bone loss. Call (828) 274-9440 for more information or to arrange a Consultation.

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