I have recently been told that I have a severe calcium deficency. As a result, my dentist is suggesting that I just go ahead and extract all of my teeth. I am heartbroken about this because I am only in my 30s. I’ve been told by a friend that if I do that I will end up with my face collapsing at the bottom. I’m picturing my toothless grandmother who could not keep her dentures in. Is this what I have to look forward to? Is there any way to prevent this?
The condition your friend is referring to is known as facial collapse in dental circles. I’ve provided a picture directly above. Let me explain how this happens. When your teeth are first removed, your body recognizes that there are no longer any roots of your teeth in your body that it needs to support. As a means of being as efficient with your body’s resources as possible, it begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body. After about ten or so years, you will no longer have enough jawbone left to hold your lower denture in place.
While there is a way to prevent this, I would like you to get a second opinion on the saveability of your teeth. While a severe calcium deficiency during adulthood can lead to cramps, nerve problems, and even osteoporosis, it would have no impact on your teeth. By adulthood, your teeth are fully formed so the calcium deficiency will have not be a factor in their health. Some dentists are more interested in putting in extra work to save teeth than others. A second opinion may show you that your teeth can be saved after all and you will not need to have them extracted. That would be the ideal.
If for some reason your teeth cannot be saved and they do have to be extracted, there is a way to prevent facial collapse. Instead of just getting completely removable dentures, you will want to get dental implants, then your dentures can be anchored to them. The implants will serve as prosthetic tooth roots. This signals to your body that you still have teeth and it then leaves your jawbone completely intact.
I would definitely get that second opinion first before doing anything drastic such as having your teeth extracted.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.