When your teeth are lost, your body immediately begins removing the bone in your jaw. This contributes to changes in your face shape and can make you look older
. And as your jawbone changes, your dentures
will lose their fit and have to be replaced–you may eventually be unable to wear dentures
. There’s no way to completely avoid bone loss with dentures, but there are ways to reduce it. Here are some strategies that might help reduce your bone loss.
Supporting Dentures with Teeth
One potential solution is to avoid extracting all your teeth. Your natural teeth will continue to stimulate the jawbone as they had in the past.
The problem with this strategy is that it’s often not practical. If your teeth are damaged or threatened by gum disease, they might just have to go. The teeth you can retain might also not be in the best positions to support your dentures. And, of course, it can’t help people who have already had teeth removed.
are the most practical approach to retaining jawbone. The implants can be placed to properly support your dentures, and they will stimulate your bone so it isn’t removed by the body.
But implant dentures can also give a false sense of security. They won’t prevent bone loss, and if dentures are poorly fitted–especially implant-retained dentures–they can still speed bone loss.
Improve Denture Fit
As we said, poorly fitting dentures speed bone loss, even if you have implant dentures. To preserve your bone, it’s important to ensure your dentures are snug without being too tight and encourage a balanced bite that doesn’t create excess forces at any point in your mouth.
Nutrition is vital to retaining your bone. The more nutrients your body has available to it, the less it will raid its own tissue for resources. Good nutrition can’t stop bone resorption, but it might slow it down. Of course, it’s harder to eat a balanced diet and get proper nutrition if you don’t have comfortable, functional dentures.
Wear Your Dentures Less
This is a last-ditch strategy. Traditional dentures can speed bone loss, so it’s often recommended that wearing your dentures less can help you retain bone. Because of other health issues, it’s often recommended that you not wear dentures at night, and if your dentures are bothering your gums, it may be best to not wear them for one day or so a week.
If you find yourself being tempted to go without dentures because of denture pain or concerns about bone loss, it’s time to consider new, better-fitting dentures. Please contact a local Denture Fountain of Youth® dentist to learn more about reducing bone loss risk.