No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

Are Your Bones Weakening From Tooth Loss?

by Jeremiah Barnett

Having missing teeth can make you feel self-conscious and anxious, but it can also do a number on your bones. If you're worried about the strength and health of your bones, then you should know that having missing teeth could cause some of your bones to weaken. Here's what you need to know about this process and how you can subvert it.

How Bones Work

Your bones aren't static. That is to say, they're alive, and constantly replacing old bone cells with new, healthy ones. This is part of the reason why osteoporosis develops; the process slows down, and bones don't replace their cells at the same rate that they're losing them at.

While bones replace old cells, they don't do it in a vacuum. They need outside support. When you walk around, lift things, or put any kind of pressure on your bones, that's what stimulates them to grow new bone cells. That's why doctors often recommend lifting weights to help supplement bone growth in people who have thinning bones.

How Your Teeth Work With Your Jaw Bone

Your jawbones receive pressure just like the rest of your bones do, but they do it in a special way. Just pressing down on your gums won't typically transfer enough pressure to stimulate the bones as much as they should be. You need your teeth to act as a conduit, transferring the pressure from your bite down deep into where your jawbones are.

When you lose your teeth, this mechanism is lost. With only one or two missing teeth, the bone only becomes weaker in specific areas. However, as you lose more teeth, the weakening can spread across the jaw bones and result in them becoming thinner, weaker, and more brittle. 

Getting It Back

The good news is, just because you've lost teeth doesn't mean that your bones are doomed to become weakened. You can fix this problem by getting dental implants.

Dental implants are designed to be a lot like real teeth. They don't stop at the gums as bridges and dentures do. Instead, they go down into the same part of the jaw that the original teeth did. This allows them to act as that bridge transferring pressure in the same way as real teeth.

If you're worried about your bones and you have missing teeth, you owe it to yourself to get dental implants. Don't let your jaw get weaker. Companies like Gallery Dental can help.