You’ve seen photos of people who have a sunken look in their faces. They can look years older than they really are—all because they have traditional dentures. When you lose teeth, your jawbone deteriorates over time, aging your appearance and weakening your bite.
With traditional dentures, there isn’t really a way to stop this process, but you can slow it down. Here are some tips for holding onto your jawbone as long as you can.
Avoid Tooth Extraction
Other than implant posts, natural tooth roots keep the jawbone stimulated. As much as possible, try to hold onto your natural teeth to preserve your jawbone tissue; however, if you have untreated gum disease or other damage, these teeth may need to be extracted for the greater good of your smile.
Keep the Fit of Your Dentures
When dentures don’t fit properly, it speeds up the deterioration process and places excessive force on certain points within the arch. On the other hand, having dentures that fit precisely—without being too tight—evenly distributes the biting force throughout your mouth. As a result, the jawbone can diminish more slowly and similarly.
The bad oral bacteria that cause jawbone deterioration love sugary, processed foods and drinks. In fact, they thrive when you ingest them. When you limit your sugar and starch consumption, you keep these bacteria under better control. Along the same lines, when you have healthy, nutritious foods and water, you actually help your mouth fight off these infection-causing bacteria.
Also, your body will resorb the jawbone more slowly if you are getting calcium and other nutrients from your diet, instead of taking them from the jawbone. That’s why it’s important to fill your diet with vitamins and minerals every day.
Wear Your Dentures Less
After having your traditional dentures in your mouth all day, your gums need a break. Most dentists strongly recommend putting your dentures in a cup of water to soak while you sleep, but if your dentures are causing you discomfort or bothering your gums, you can and should leave them out for a while. When they irritate your gums, chances are they are going to harm your jawbone as well.
Transition to Implant Dentures
If you have the ability to get them, dental implants are the best way to stop jawbone resorption. The posts substitute for natural tooth roots and keep nutrients flowing to the jawbone. Not only does this provide your dentures with extraordinary stability, but it also strengthens your bite and keeps the jawbone robust.
In the end, your jawbone is worth trying to save or hold onto. If you cannot get dental implants, follow these other tips to keep deterioration to a minimum.
About the Practice
Coombs, Ross & Sourlis Family Dentistry of Rock Hill has served individuals and families in the area for several decades. Our doctors have the training and experience to handle the entire implant process in-office, and they are happy to explain the benefits and procedures to you if you are interested in learning more about these replacements. Contact us online or call our Rock Hill office at 803-592-6201 for an appointment.