Some Hard Facts About Tooth Loss

added on: December 11, 2011

As the wealthiest country in the world, it’s surprising that tooth loss is so prevalent. For example, 10% of American adults are missing all of their teeth and 63% are missing more than one tooth. For those over the age of 65, this jumps to 98%.

Once tooth roots are no longer present, the jaw bone begins to shrink. Pressure on the gums from wearing a denture actually accelerates bone loss. Eighty percent of denture wearers wear their dentures day and night. Bone loss progresses more rapidly due to this 24/7 pressure.

This bone loss is a far greater problem to one’s health than many people suspect. For instance, take someone who has recently lost all his or her teeth.  One year after the extraction of teeth has occurred, a denture wearer experiences about a 25% bone loss. Three years later, 60% of the bone is gone. The biting force with teeth is 250 pounds. The denture wearer bites with only 5 to 6 pounds of force.

On the average, when dentures are first placed, the fit can be satisfactory for one to five years.  However, once bone loss begins to progress, it continues so that the fit lasts at less-frequent intervals each time. While this contributes to difficulty with eating and digestion, statistics show that, on average, people without teeth die at an age that is ten years younger than those with teeth.

As the jaw continues to shrink, facial muscles detach and “jowls” form. As the bone thins, a pointed chin and deep wrinkling around the mouth begins. When the denture is in place, it fills out the face but does nothing to maintain bone. For a realistic picture of the extent of bone loss, a denture wearer should look in the mirror without their dentures in place.

The psychological repercussions are equally as harmful. There is a dramatic decrease in one’s self-esteem, self-confidence, and peace of mind when dentures take the place of natural teeth.

Bone loss occurs without the presence of tooth roots. When the tooth root is replaced with Dental Implants, the process is halted and biting strength is restored. With your jawbone as a foundation for teeth rather than a denture that balances on the gum, the function of natural teeth can be restored.

The success rate for Dental Implants is better than a hip, knee, or other implant attached to bone. Unlike natural teeth, implants won’t break or decay. A properly placed and maintained implant can last a lifetime. For a free consultation to discuss Dental Implants, call our office at (586) 739-2155 or toll free 1-855-9-Smiles.

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Dr. Ban R. Barbat

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