Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 1 » Dental Care - Factors Associated With Tooth Loss, Effect Of Total Tooth Loss, Problems With Complete Dentures, Prevention Of Tooth Loss

Dental Care - Effect Of Total Tooth Loss

social teeth bone alveolar facial

Removal of all teeth has immediate effects in the bone and soft tissue that formerly supported the teeth. These tissues undergo dramatic and irreversible changes. The bone connected to the roots of teeth (alveolar bone) anchors the teeth; as soon as the teeth are removed, it begins to dissolve and disappear. After removal of all permanent teeth, an individual is left with residual ridges of alveolar bone in the upper and lower jaws. The disappearance of these ridges (residual ridge resorption), has been described as chronic, progressive, irreversible, and disabling (Atwood). Not only does the bone resorb and shrink in size and shape, but the soft tissues over the bone collapse. The definitive scientific investigation of alveolar bone resorption concluded that the process is very aggressive in the first year, occurs four times more extensively in the lower jaw than the upper jaw, and may result in one centimeter of vertical bone loss in the lower jaw after twenty-five years of wearing complete dentures (Tallgren). The resorption process compromises successful denture wearing.

The loss of all teeth creates other problems. An individual loses essential support for the muscles of facial expression. Typically, one observes sunken cheeks, unsupported lips, and a facial profile on which the nose and chin appear to be too close together. The profile is altered because teeth support the jaws and the vertical dimension of the face; therefore, in the absence of teeth, the facial structures collapse upon themselves. Because front teeth help to pronounce many sounds and words, speech is affected when the teeth are removed. Functionally, most older adults attempt to wear complete dentures in order to chew food effectively. In addition, many adults will not venture into a public or social setting without teeth. Consequently, it is not surprising that edentulism has been associated with a reduction in quality of life, self-image, and daily functioning (Gift and Redford).

Dental Care - Problems With Complete Dentures [next] [back] Dental Care - Factors Associated With Tooth Loss

User Comments

The following comments are not guaranteed to be that of a trained medical professional. Please consult your physician for advice.

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or