I was recently diagnosed with a severe calcium deficiency. My dentist is suggesting I save myself the slow death and just extract my teeth now. I am not too keen about that because I have heard that your jawbone shrinks. Is there a way for me to prevent this? I’ve seen pictures from this and I do not want to look that old. I am only in my early 30s and do not want to look like a grandma.
For the benefit of those who are unaware about the condition you are referring to, I’m going to give a brief explanation. When your teeth are removed, your body recognizes that and immediately begins to resorb the minerals in your jawbone in order to use them elsewhere in your body. It does this because it knows you no longer need those minerals in order to support your jawbone. It wants to use those resources in the most effecient way possible. The downside to this is that as the minerals are resorbed, your jawbone begins to shrink. After about ten or more years you no longer have enough jawbone left in your body to even retain your dentures. In dental circles, this is known as facial collapse.
Before you have your teeth extracted, I would like you to consider getting a second opinion on whether or not your teeth are salvageable. Some dentists are more willing to put in the work than others. I do not know the condition of your teeth because I have not examined them. However, if they are in as bad shape as your dentist said, it is absolutely not because of your calcium deficiency.
As an adult, a calcium deficiency has no impact on your teeth. Your teeth are fully formed. The only way it can impact your teeth is if the calcium deficiency was happening while your teeth were in development. My suspicion is your dentist is one of those who would rather pull teeth than repair them.
If for some reason, your teeth cannot be saved, there is a way to prevent facial collapse. The ideal solution is to get a fixed implant denture. This is when you have four or more dental implants placed in your jawbone and then have a denture anchored to it. The dental implants signal to your body that you still have teeth there. As a result, it leaves the minerals from your jawbone intact. You will not have to fear facial collapse.
This blog is brought to you by West Seneca Dentist Dr. Carl Embury.