Why Tooth Loss Causes Your Jaw Bones To Shrink

Posted on Jun 22, 2015 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

The presence of natural teeth is vital to the health of upper and lower jaw bones. Tooth roots create stimulation to the bone, which stimulates blood flow so the jaws maintain a healthy mass. Without tooth roots, the lack of stimulation causes the bone to slowly decline. This process is known as “resorption.”

Resorption causes the gum ridge to flatten out over time, giving your denture a foundation that continually shrinks. Regardless of the amount of denture adhesive applied, the denture will begin to move while eating, causing uncomfortable rubbing. Laughing becomes overshadowed by the fear of embarrassing slips.

The pressure from wearing dentures actually accelerates resorption, especially for those who sleep in their dentures. The 24/7 pressure speeds the process of resorption to an even greater degree.

When dentures are first made, they may feel secure for the first five or so years. However, as resorption continues, relines help only on a temporary basis. As bone loss progresses, relines will last at less frequent intervals each time.

On average, denture wearers experience a 25% bone loss one year after natural teeth have been extracted. Three years later, 60% of the bone is gone. While natural teeth provide a biting force of 250 pounds, the average denture wearer bites with about 5 pounds of force.

Want to see the extent of bone loss you’ve experienced? Remove your denture and look in the mirror. Do you see deep wrinkles around the mouth? Do the corners of your mouth turn downward, even when you smile? Does your mouth appear collapsed inward with a pointed chin? Have jowls formed on the sides of your face?

New designs in Dental Implant systems can overcome even severe bone loss. Types like All-On-4 can be placed in minimal bone using just four implants. Using specific angles, the All-On-4 system can support a full denture that is non-removable.

Just 4 Implants Support Non-Removable Teeth In Minimal Bone

Just 4 Implants Support Non-Removable Teeth In Minimal Bone

When a greater level of bone mass is necessary, procedures can restore the bone to a healthy level. Bone generating materials or a bone graft can be performed prior to implant placement. A “sinus lift” may be advised so sufficient bone exists between the upper jaw and sinus cavity.

Regardless of the procedure or implant type selected, a dental specialist who is trained and experienced in all implant types is the best choice for a successful result. A Periodontist is a dental specialist with advanced training in the diagnosis and placement of Dental Implants as well as bone rebuilding procedures.

Dental Implants restore chewing comfort and the ability to speak and laugh with confidence. Today, bone loss doesn’t necessarily prevent you from enjoying these benefits! Begin with a consultation by calling (828) 274-9440.

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