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Help! My jaw is shrinking.

I’ve been wearing dentures for a number of years now, but it seems like the older I get, the smaller my jaw gets.  I am worried that with my jaw shrinking I won’t be able to wear my dentures anymore.  Is there anything I can do? Do I just need to get smaller dentures?

Leslie K. – Missouri


You could get new dentures, but eventually they won’t stay in either.  One of the big problems with dentures is the atrophy of your jawbone.  Once your teeth are removed, your body (which is very efficient) begins to reabsorb the minerals in your jawbone for use elsewhere in your body.

Your jawbone will shrink to the point that you won’t be able to get any dentures to stay in your mouth.  The solution is bone grafting and a new tooth replacement.  If you get dentures again, you will eventually have the same problem.

A more permanent solution would be to get dental implants, but they are more expensive.  I would get with your dentist and explain what is going on.  You can discuss your options and decide which procedures will work best in your situation.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Cosmetic Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.