Defining Facial Collapse
Facial collapse is a condition in which the jaw bone begins to shrink due to the lack of teeth. As soon as the teeth are extracted, the body notices and begins the slow process of absorbing nutrients and minerals from the jaw bone for use elsewhere.
This breaks down the jaw bone, making it become less stable over time. This causes a sunken or ‘collapsed’ look in the facial area around the bone reduction and gives the face an appearance of aging.
The whole process occurs slowly over the span of 10-20 years, and it might be that long before you notice anything is wrong. Visiting a dentist is the only way to fully diagnose facial collapse and take steps to fix it.
How it happens
The main reason for facial collapse is the loss of teeth. When there are no longer any teeth for the jaw bone to support, the body thinks there is no need for a jaw bone.
This causes the body to begin to send the minerals somewhere else where they are actually needed. Because of this, many patients diagnosed with facial collapse have an almost ‘shriveled’ facial appearance. Sometimes the chin appears to shrink, and sometimes the area between the mouth and the nose shrinks.
This condition can cause many future problems in your mouth. Patients who have their teeth taken out often decide to get dentures. This is a very good option to replace the missing teeth, but when the bone in your jaw deteriorates too much, wearing dentures can become very uncomfortable or even painful.
Steps to prevent it
Whether all of your teeth have been extracted or only one, you could be in danger of facial collapse. One common option to help prevent this from occurring is to get dental implants.
Dental implants have titanium screws that are placed into the jaw bone, imitating tooth roots. Your body will accept these as tooth roots, which will help prevent the body from absorbing the minerals from the jaw bone. Dental implants are the only effective way to prevent facial collapse. Talk to your dentist to see what would be best for you.
How to repair any damage
Once facial collapse has begun, there are several ways to stop and reverse its effects.
Bone grafting is the best way to replace and restore the shrinking jaw bone, depending on how progressed the collapse has become. A surgeon will re-build the jaw bone back to its original state. Once it heals, implants can be placed into the new jaw bone to convince the body that a tooth is there again. The body should then restore the surrounding jaw and get your mouth back to normal.
Dental implants are great ways to help coax the body to restore the jaw bone naturally when not too much damage has occurred. When the implant is inserted into the jaw, the body believes that it is a tooth and will begin sending the minerals back to the jaw bone. This will help it to rebuild itself and restore your mouth to its original state!
Facial collapse is a common condition that can be stopped and reversed. Seek medical attention promptly if you think this might be occurring. Help take action to save your teeth and jaw from bone loss! Have you ever experienced some form of facial collapse?
About the Author
Kayla Holiday enjoys providing a discount dental plan to small businesses and individuals and helping them save money on dental plans.