By Brock Vandor

June 27, 2019 - 8:57am
Use it or lose it; we know that's how our bodies work. If we don't use our muscles, they shrink. If we don't stretch, we tighten up. Even our brain has been proven to shrink if it doesn't get worked out! Did you know that  your jawbones need a workout to keep from shrinking too? Thankfully you don't have to go for walks or play pickle ball just to get exercise to keep your jawbones from shrinking. All you need are some tooth roots! 

Tooth roots? That's all you need! You see, when the jaw bone senses that there are roots inside of the bone, it knows that it is being used, so your body continues to send nutrients to keep that bone from shrinking away. Loosing teeth starts the clock on bone loss. Even if someone has a denture sitting on top of the gums, that still doesn't count as a tooth root being inside of the jaw.


Is it a big deal that it shrinks away? Well, it's not a good thing. Usually it means loose dentures and a shrunken face look, but we do have ways of compensating for bone loss and even ways to stop it in its tracks. 

When someone has a denture, think of it as a house on the sand - no foundation. In fact, the sand is shrinking away underneath the house. What we need to do is reline the bottom of that denture to make sure we compensate for shrinkage that is happening. How often does one need a reline done? When a tooth is first pulled, a lot of bone loss happens within the first 2 years as the tooth socket shrinks away. Even after that, bone loss continues for the rest of your life, just more slowly. Every 2-3 years you will benefit from a reline or the lower denture, and in my experience, every 3-5 years for the upper denture if you want it to fit its tightest. 

How can you stop bone loss? This is where dental implants come in. I know they sound scary, but all they are is fake tooth roots. Instead of pulling a tooth (which is the worst part), you'll have a new root put in. What this does is let the jawbone know that it is still being used. Dental implants drastically reduces the bone loss process and gives your denture a stable foundation to sit on, like a house on a rock as opposed to sand. 

If your denture feels like a house on the sand, floating around your mouth, give us a call. I love finding creative ways to make things better, implants or no implants, we will let you know what can be done!


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