An estimated 36 million people in this country are edentulous – they no longer have any natural teeth. Dr. Michael Stern stresses the serious negative impact this has on appearance, health, and happiness. For more than 30 years, he has been helping patients in the Willoughby Hills, OH area understand how important tooth replacement is to their quality of life.
What happens to bone
When you have natural teeth, each time you bite down roots that extend into jawbone send signals to the body saying, “We are working hard and need nutrients to keep bone strong to hold us in place.” When teeth are gone, the body stops sending essential elements and it begins to resorb minerals from jawbone, sending them to other areas of the body where there is more demand.
Your face changes
Without teeth and as bone diminishes, the face is transformed. We associate these changes with getting older, although they can happen at any age:
- Lips become thinner and curl inward, forming a thin line that looks stern.
- The lower third of the face caves in.
- Facial muscles weaken and lose mass.
- Lax skin sags into wrinkles.
- Corners of the mouth droop.
- Distance from nose to chin decreases.
Speaking and eating
A single missing tooth can cause a lisp or other speech impediment. No teeth may make it virtually impossible for others to understand what you are saying. This leads to frustration and gradual emotional withdrawal.
In our culture, eating is about much more than survival. Mealtimes are meant to be happy, social experiences. Without teeth, chewing function is reduced to a small percentage of normal. You most likely cannot dig into foods that others enjoy, even when cutting them into small morsels. While you can subsist on a low-fiber, soft foods diet, digestion and overall wellness are affected.
So, how important is tooth replacement? In Willoughby Hills, OH, call Dr. Stern at (440) 210-0999 for a denture consultation to find out. He takes extra steps to ensure exceptional fit that restores facial contours, chewing function, and clear speech. The option of implant-retained dentures provides unparalleled stability and helps to preserve bone.