We accept tooth loss as a natural part of the ageing process. However, it’s not at all natural to look much older than we really are after losing teeth or wearing dentures for a long time. Who would want to look older than they really are? Do you wear dentures or have you lost all of your natural teeth? If the answer to either of these questions is ‘yes’ then you should be aware of the following information.
Losing jaw bone and premature ageing
Early ageing? Does it really exist? Who would want to appear any older than they really are?
No one, of course.
What is the connection between premature ageing, tooth loss and wearing dentures for a long period of time?
You probably couldn’t even begin to imagine how many there are. All human beings experience tooth loss at some point in their lives and some accept it as they know it is a part of getting older. What shouldn’t be accepted is premature ageing due to tooth loss.
Dentures and a sunken facial appearance as a result of tooth loss. (Something that a lot of dentists avoid talking about ).
Dentures can solve dental problems and dentists often recommend fitting removable dentures. Only a few may be aware that wearing dentures for a long period of time can cause severe and irreversible problems in the jaw bones and the body generally, which makes living a fulfilled life very difficult. Dentists usually only talk about the advantages of wearing dentures without mentioning the disadvantages.
Missing teeth or wearing dentures for a long time can result in facial collapse. This means that the jaw bones start to recede or the thickness and bone level start to change.
As a result, the face starts to sag as the density of the jaw bones decreases. If facial bone loss reaches a critical point the only remaining option is restoration of the shape of the face using painful surgical intervention. Fortunately, today there exists a type of dental treatment that provides a long term solution by replacing lost teeth and avoiding facial collapse.
Why we sometimes age prematurely
The process is very easy to understand. Basically, our body shape is determined by the skeleton and the muscles that are responsible for moving it. The skeleton and the muscles are covered by skin and if any changes occur to the skeleton they can be seen almost immediately because of the flexible muscles and skin. Recession of the facial bone is visible on the face as the skin is unable to adapt immediately to the recession. As a result, the skin becomes loose and wrinkles appear.
This situation is very similar to rapid weight loss. During this process the skin doesn’t have enough time to recede as it should.
Wearing dentures is a common way of replacing teeth. Why do I age prematurely then?
Dentures do not work like our own natural teeth as the chewing force is balanced in a different way. The size and extent of the pressure put on the jaws are of crucial importance when it comes to the construction of the bone. These forces shape and make the jaw bone healthy and strong. Every single time these forces change (for example, due to the extraction of all of the remaining teeth or wearing dentures) a severe change occurs in the internal architecture and configuration of the jaw bones.
As an example: If we do sports regularly it is noticeable on the shape of our body, the muscles become firm, toned and shapely. However, if we stop doing sports the muscles slowly start to deteriorate and lose their shape.
The jaws act in the same way.
Dentures do not distribute the pressure into jaws, they absorb the energy. This means that chewing with dentures does not require full intervention on the part of the jaw bones. As a result, the jaw bones start to recede as the body senses that there is less need for the jaws.
This is the reason why the shape of the face changes and why we can look older than we are.
6 additional problems caused by dentures
Dentures can cause several other problems that only a few dentists talk about:
- Dentures can cause jaw bone loss. There are many people who cannot receive implants after having been toothless or having worn dentures for a long time as they don’t have sufficient bone left.
- Dentures have to be adjusted every few years. Dentures are in need of occasional adjustments as they cannot align properly due to bone recession.
- Difficulties in speaking. With moving dentures oral articulation is difficult, in addition they can cause wounds in the mouth that hurt while eating.
- Can ill-fitting dentures cause cancer? Moving dentures can cause irritation, pain and wounds in the mouth that can become infected later on. Mouth cancer can develop in the infected areas.
- You can forget about your favourite foods. As a result of reduced chewing ability your bite will be weaker so you may have problems eating hard foods.
- Why are dentures a short-term solution for dental problems? It is good to know that besides smaller or bigger everyday problems, dentures can cause long term health problems that you may have never even heard about before.
We can lose 98% of our chewing force within 15 years
We will not just age prematurely but will also experience dramatic changes in our chewing force. If we consider the chewing force in units, we can bite with a force of 100 units.
With dentures the number of these units is just 20. This means that we bite with 5 times less force with dentures and this leads to significant problems when eating ( because we cannot chew the food properly).
Within 15 years this force can be reduced to just 2 units. If this happens, one can experience problems with eating many kinds of hard food. If we cannot chew properly it may result in digestive problems and severe health problems later on in life.
We can lose up to 25% of the jaw bone during the first year.
The density and shape of the jaw can be maintained in their original form if the compressive and tensile forces do not change. According to some research, one can lose 25% of the bone after losing teeth if it is not exposed to adequate pressure. This means that deformation may be apparent on the face within a year.
There is a solution in order to maintain the original shape of the face
Bone loss can only be arrested if the missing teeth are replaced with teeth that are very similar to the originals. The longer we wait for treatment, the lower the chance that the bone loss will stop.
Dental implants can be a long term solution for those who have lost all of their natural teeth or wear dentures as these teeth are very similar to the originals in function and appearance. Implants function similarly to tooth roots, they also balance the chewing force in the jaw bones so there is an excellent chance that the bone loss stops.
What is an implant?
Dental implants act as an artificial root, which having been installed into the jaw bone fuse together with the bone and are then loaded with crowns or a bridge to provide firm, stable teeth. Different types of implant are generally made of titanium, a strong metal which isn't known to cause any allergic reactions. The implant success rate is approx. 98%, providing patients with a secure and permanent solution to their specific dental problem.
There are a lots of types on the market these days. They are the same in the main function but are different in many ways: the material, the form, the form and size of the thread, the size of the implants, etc. The dentist chooses among the best type possible. It depends on the bone density and size and the form and size of the cheekbone.
You can find out more about the implants by clicking here.
Advantages of dental implants
It is possible eat our favourite dishes for a lifetime.
The chewing ability gets better thanks to the fixed tooth replacement.
Eliminates the frustration caused by toothlessness or moving dentures.
Fixed tooth replacements will not let the teeth move. You will laugh and smile as worriless as before.
No need for denture creams or adhesives.
They almost look like the natural teeth.
99 out of 100 will think you do not have tooth replacements.This is state-of-the-art tooth replacement.
You can avoid premature aging caused by wearing dentures.
Implants act they same way as tooth roots so implants can radically slow down or stop bone recession.
You dental problems can be sorted out for a lifetime.
(If you maintain a good dental hygiene and attend check-ups.)
Fill out our contact form, send us your OPG x-ray now or attend a dental consultation in London! Our implant specialists drawing upon the range of available implant systems will provide you with the solution best suited to you.