As we age, it’s not uncommon for our jawbone to shrink. This can lead to a number of problems, including a change in the shape of our face and teeth that become loose or even fall out. But there are things we can do to prevent this from happening. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the causes of jawbone shrinkage and how you can keep your jawbone healthy as you age.
The Causes Of Jawbone Shrinkage
There are a few different reasons why our jawbone may shrink as we age. One common cause is tooth loss. When we lose teeth, the bone that previously supported those teeth begins to dissolve. Additionally, gum disease can also lead to bone loss in the jaw.
Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on our teeth is the primary cause of gum disease. If plaque isn’t removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, which irritates the gums and leads to inflammation. over time, this inflammation can damage the bone around the teeth and lead to bone loss.
Changes in Hormones
Other causes of jawbone shrinkage include changes in hormones during menopause. Estrogen is a hormone that helps to keep bones strong. When levels of estrogen drop during menopause, it can lead to bone loss. This means that women are more likely than men to experience jawbone shrinkage as they age.
Smoking is also a risk factor for jawbone shrinkage. This is because smoking decreases blood flow to the jaw, which can lead to bone loss. Additionally, smokers are more likely to develop gum disease, which as has already been discussed, can also lead to bone loss in the jaw.
Certain medications can also lead to bone loss since they interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Examples of these medications include steroids, anticonvulsants, and cancer treatments like chemotherapy. This leads to osteoporosis, which makes bones more fragile and susceptible to fractures.
Preventions For Jawbone Shrinkage
Good Oral Hygiene
Fortunately, there are things we can do to prevent jawbone shrinkage. First and foremost, it’s crucial to practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly. This will help remove plaque before it has a chance to harden into tartar and damage your gums. It’s also important to see your dentist for regular checkups so any problems with your teeth or gums can be caught early and treated accordingly.
If you are experiencing jawbone shrinkage, one solution may be to get dental implants. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically implanted into the jawbone. They provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth, which can help prevent further bone loss. Additionally, these can improve your oral health by preventing tooth loss and helping to keep your gums healthy. If you are considering getting them, talk to your dentist about whether they are right for you.
Quitting smoking is difficult, but necessary for your health. Not only will this help prevent gum disease, but it will also decrease your risk of jawbone shrinkage. This allows you to avoid serious health problems down the road and improve your quality of life now.
There are a number of ways to quit smoking, and what works for one person may not work for another. Some people find that nicotine replacement therapies like patches or gum help them quit smoking, while others prefer behavioral therapies or medications. Whatever method you choose, seek professional help to increase your chances of success.
Your doctor can help you find the best way to quit smoking for you, and there are also many support groups and resources available online and in your community. Quitting smoking is not easy, but it is worth it for your health and your quality of life.
Getting Enough Calcium
It’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough calcium. This is because calcium is essential for bone health. The best way to get calcium is through your diet by eating foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, and leafy green vegetables.
You can also get calcium from over-the-counter supplements and from specially fortified foods like orange juice and breakfast cereal. If you are not getting enough calcium from your diet, be sure to talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.
If you’re starting to experience changes in your hormones due to menopause, there are treatments available that can help prevent bone loss. These include hormone replacement therapy and bisphosphonate drugs, which are taken by mouth or injected into the bloodstream. And last but not least, if you’re taking medications that could potentially lead to bone loss, talk to your doctor about alternative options.
Jawbone shrinkage is a serious problem that can lead to a number of health problems. However, there are things you can do to prevent it. Practice good oral hygiene, quit smoking, and make sure you’re getting enough calcium. If you are experiencing jawbone shrinkage, talk to your doctor about treatment options.