February 15, 2011

Bone loss can impact denture function

Q.  I wear a lower denture.  What will happen without treatment?

A.  When you lose your teeth, you gradually lose the bone that holds them in your jaw.  As this bone shrinks, problems with a lack of bone lead to increased discomfort, increased movement of your denture, lack of retention and sharp, painful ridges, movable gums, and sore spots.  The tongue also enlarges to fill in the spaces.  With tooth loss, a five-fold decrease in function happens and the diet shifts to softer foods, which has a bad effect on your nutrition.  When bone is lost, numbness to the lower lip or even fracture of the lower jaw can be a possibility. In addition, the progressive bone loss can make it difficult, impossible, and more expensive to solve your problem.  You could need more implants or extensive treatment, or we will not be able to provide the treatment we recommend now.

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