How Dental Implants Can Reverse Premature Aging?
Missing teeth result in bone loss. Loss of jawbone mass can contribute to premature aging of the face. Dr. Singh discusses how Dental Implants can change this.
How is it possible that missing teeth and bone loss in the jawbones cause premature aging?
Its possible because once we loose the tooth, we do lose bone around it. As a result, your bite is not stable anymore. Your jaw swings upward, and the vertical height between your nose and the tip of your jaw (the lower face height) actually shrinks, or collapses. We all may remember a grandparent that may have lost their teeth, and as a result, their lower face height decreases, giving them a much older appearance. This can even happen in younger people.
You may recall a few years ago, when one of our patients was featured on the cover of the Toronto Star. He was a very young many that had lost his teeth, and looked much older than he actually was. You can see from the before pictures that he definitely looks much older than his 24 years of age. The only difference between the before and after pictures is that in the after picture, he has a dental prosthetic in place, that replaces all of his teeth. A dental implant-supported prosthetic was used because it also replaced some of the gum tissue that was lost. Using this device we were able to restore lip support, better facial balance, and a much more pleasing appearance. Most people have said that the patient looks 20 years younger from left to right. Not only does it increase the lower face height, and create a more balanced appearance, but it also provides better jawbone function. In the before image, you can see the jaw swinging upward and protruding forward. This causes problems in the jaw’s joints. He is no longer functioning in a normal bite position, but what we can an “over closed bite” position. Jaw pain, headaches, and discomfort were becoming much more common with Jason when his bite was over closed. In fact, many people have unresolved headaches, neck aches, and jaw pain that may be attributable to loss of tooth structure, loss of bone, and an imbalanced bite. These can all be resolved by rebuilding the bite to its normal position.
In the case of Jason Jones, his facial height changed dramatically. Why did this happen?
With the loss of the teeth, and the associated loss of the bone, he lower jaw would swing freely upperward. His original biting position has been completely lost. His bite is closing wherever he hits something. In his case it was pretty much gum-on-gum. We determined later that his bite had over closed by 21mm (0.8 inches). When we restore the bite of a person like Jason, we don’t just have to worry about putting teeth in his jaws, but we also have to restore the bite to its most natural position, in order to restore balance to his jaw position, the associated muscles, and the amount of lip support that he needs. We are not only trying to create something that looks good, but also functions ideally for him, utilizing his existing jaw structure, muscular tone, and function… creating something that is harmonious with his bite, as well as his appearance. In this way he is less likely to experience jaw pain, headaches, and discomfort normally associated with progressive bone loss. If he looks 20 years younger, then he should also function 20 years younger as well.
About The Author
Dr. Raj Singh founded Dentistry at Vitality Health with the purpose of helping people change their lives through the transformational power of modern dentistry. He understood that the condition of the teeth, and the surrounding gums, muscles, and jaws, could have a dramatic effect on a person's appearance, as well as their health. He takes a multifaceted approach to dental health, by utilizing a diverse range of health disciplines in order to help people achieve optimal health and physical appearance.
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