I am just in my late twenties and have had horrible problems with my teeth. I feel like every time I am at the dentist something else goes wrong. Then, I was diagnosed with a calcium deficiency. My dentist said I am fighting a losing battle with the lack of calcium and wants me just to extract the rest of my teeth and get dentures. I remember my grandmother in dentures and her mouth was all scrunched up. She looked ancient. My mother called it old mouth. I don’t want to look that same way, especially as I am still what I consider young. Is there anything that can prevent this?
What your mother called “old mouth” is what dentists call facial collapse. This happens to people who are in completely removable dentures because your body recognizes that you do not have any teeth roots in your jaw. To preserve as many resources for the rest of your body as possible, it resorbs the minerals from your jawbone to use elsewhere. This shrinks the bone itself and gives that scrunched up appearance. There is a way to prevent it. However, I have my doubts about what your dentist is saying.
If you developed a calcium deficiency in adulthood, then it would not have any impact on your teeth. Your teeth are fully formed and are not impacted by a calcium deficiency. There would have needed to be a problem during their development. When you are an adult, the impact will give you nerve problems, cramps, and even osteoporosis, but it will not damage your teeth.
You may be wondering why a dentist would tell you to extract your teeth unnecessarily. The truth is dentists will vary in their willingness to work hard in order to save teeth. Some will work tirelessly to save them. Others prefer just to extract problem teeth. You mentioned you’ve had challenges with your teeth. It’s possible this dentist just doesn’t want to deal with them. I recommend getting a second opinion by a dentist who prefers to retain as much natural tooth structure as possible.
If for some reason, it turns out you do end up losing your teeth, you do not have to be stuck with facial collapse. In order to prevent that, you will need to have dental implants placed and then have dentures anchored to them. The dental implants stand in as prosthetic teeth roots and signal to your body that you still need your jawbone intact.
This blog is brought to you by Auburn Dentists Drs. Murphree and Yount.