Category Archives: Facial Collapse

I only 60 and I my denture keeps slipping around. I can hardly keep it in!

I just turned 60 years old and I am so embarrassed about my denture. I have had it for over 30 years now and it is getting so much worse. I can hardly keep it in place anymore. I think my bony ridge is almost gone. It comes out daily. Is there anything that can be done?

– Suzanne in Indiana


This is very unfortunate to hear. Here is what is happening. When you no longer have teeth, the body resorbs the minerals that used to support the teeth. The body is highly efficient and has determined that the minerals aren’t needed in that area anymore and will use these them in other parts of the body. The jawbone recedes so much that you may get to a point where you can’t wear a denture anymore. This bone loss condition is called facial collapse. You probably weren’t informed of this 30 years ago.

Bone grafting is the first thing that needs to be done. But it is a highly complex surgery and not just any dentist will do it.  In fact, it may be difficult to find an oral surgeon that is qualified and willing to perform the surgery. If you are a candidate for bone grafting, you can get a new denture fitted. Although, the same cycle will reoccur. If your budget will allow, you may want to consider dental implants or an overdenture. Anytime a dental implant is used and implanted in the jaw, it will tell the brain that the body still needs the bone to support it. So this will prevent facial collapse from re-occurring in the immediate area around each implant.

As little as two implants will help and keep the denture in place and help it from slipping. The more implants that are placed, the more stable your denture will be in the long run. Hybrid-dentures or snap-on dentures incorporate implants and dentures.

Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully it serves to help others that are faced with tooth loss. If you knew 30 years ago the state of your oral health now, you may have made some different decisions.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can’t keep a denture in at 60 years old. Do I have any options?

I am only 60 years old and my dentures are falling out. I have had them for over 30 years now and it seems like there is not ridge left. Is there anything that can be done. I don’t want to live on liquid the rest of my life!

– Beatrice

This is sad to hear. What your dentist may not have informed you about decades ago was the denture problems that can occur when you are missing all your teeth. What happens is that the body resorbs the minerals to be used in other parts of the body. This causes the bone to shrink in your jaw. So that is why you no longer have a bony ridge left to support your denture. The condition is known as facial collapse. And from what you have described it sounds like you are at risk in becoming a dental cripple. Your quality of life will continue to suffer as this continues to progress.

But there is something that can be done. Bone grafting is a procedure that builds the bone back up. You want to be very selective in the dentist and oral surgeon you choose. Some implant dentists perform bone grafting surgery as well. Depending on the condition of your teeth, there may be some oral surgeons that will steer clear of your case.

There are some other options that may work for improving your current condition. This, of course, all depends on your budget and what your desired outcome is. First, you can get a new removable denture placed after the bone has been surgically replenished. But facial collapse will still be a concern. As time goes by, you will again experience bone loss.

Dental implants prevent facial collapse. The implants are surgically implanted into your jaw so your body recognizes it needs the bone to support the implant. As little as two implants can help. This is called an overdenture, or snap-on denture. The more dental implants you get, the better off you will be in the long run. Six to eight implants to secure your denture will make it feel like you have your old teeth back.

Thank you for being willing to share your story. You probably had no idea you would be in this situation 30 years ago. Hopefully, your story will help others when faced with the difficult decision of the best treatment option for missing teeth.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Can I repair my poor-fitting denture by myself?

I haven’t been happy with the way my denture has been fitting for awhile. Sadly, I have just put up with it and gotten used to it. But I guess it’s gotten worse over time because when I was outside doing some yard work, I bent over to pick something up and it slipped right on out. Ugh! How embarrassing, I’m glad no one saw. The bad news is that it broke in half and a couple of the teeth came off too. Is there any way that I can fix this on my own without having to go into the dentist? Can I use adhesive to fix it? Also, do you have any recommendations on how to improve the fit once I do get it fixed?

– Bart in Michigan


No matter how tempting it may be to use that Super Glue for a quick fix, it really isn’t the way to go in repairing your broken denture. There are many reasons why this isn’t a good fix, like the bond may become weakened and if it isn’t properly aligned it may cause very painful sores. It may also look bazaar if it isn’t repaired properly. So unfortunately it would probably be best if you went to see your dentist to have the repair done properly.

As for the poor fit that you have been dealing with, there are a couple options you can discuss with your dentist about your particular case. Once it gets to a point where it actually falls out, it is likely you are dealing with facial collapse. This condition is debilitating and occurs when there are no teeth present. So, all in all it may be time to get a new denture. And you may be interested in talking to your dentist about using a couple dental implants to help prevent further facial collapse and also help to secure your denture. That said, the more implants that are used the more stability you will be provided. At the very least, you should consider getting the repair done and relined if possible.

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

What if all I can afford is dentures?

My teeth are literally falling out and crumbling because they are in such bad shape. So I have been looking into getting complete dentures. Over ten years ago, the dentist told me that I didn’t have that much enamel left on my teeth. This might have had something to do with me vomiting through two straight pregnancies. I literally puked multiple times every day for the entire duration of each of these pregnancies. Well, that has been over eight years ago now, but my teeth are so brittle and cracked and have ugly cavities.

The dentist removed one of my teeth last week because it had cracked in half. Five other teeth have eroded all the way to my gums and I have had one crown and post fall out too. The dental insurance I have isn’t doing the trick, since it only covers about $1000 annually. And you know how expensive good dental treatments are. Sadly, it looks like complete dentures will only cost about $1400 for me, but I am torn because my bottom teeth are now as bad as my upper teeth. The cost for getting root canals and crowns was closer to $5000 and I just am having a hard time justifying that much money be spend on me. I haven’t been able to get any loans either. So are dentures really my only option at this point?

I also had meningitis as a baby so maybe some of the medicines given to me have played a role in how terrible my teeth are. You may not believe it by looking at my teeth but I swear I have brushed and flossed  regularly ever since I was a kid. Any insight or advice would be so greatly appreciated. I feel like I only have one option Рdentures.

– Pat in Arkansas


From what you have shared it sounds like you are completely frustrated with your teeth. Dentures are an option for you, but not necessarily your only option. You need to be fully aware of the denture problems and underlying ramifications in moving forward with dentures though. Denture patients are often times very disappointed because they can be very uncomfortable, they reduce your chewing efficiency, and they can fall out at embarrassing times. Another very serious condition that someone as young as yourself needs to fully understand is what is called facial collapse. What happens when all of your teeth are removed is that the bone that used to support the teeth is re-absorbed so the minerals can be used in other areas of the body. Then, your jawbone shrinks and over the course of ten to twenty years can shrink so much that you may not even be able to keep your denture in anymore. Facial collapse patients look much older than they are and their face looks sunken in.

Another thing you need to know is that losing your bottom teeth is much more of a serious situation than losing your upper teeth. An upper denture is easier to maintain and adjust as time goes by. This is also due to the fact that the upper denture uses suction to stay put. This means it is much more stable than the lower denture which kind of floats on top of your lower jaw. Your tongue and cheeks also help to keep the lower denture in place.

So although dentures seem like the most affordable option now, down the road you may end up spending more to take care of the ramifications of facial collapse. And we haven’t even begun talking about your quality of life.

So if there is any way that any of your teeth can be saved, even with crowns or root canal treatments, that truly is the best in the long run. This is because the longer the tooth roots are still anchored into your jawbone, you are avoiding the devastating facial collapse. Dental implants also prevent facial collapse because the surgical post is placed directly into your jawbone. Again, these treatments are more expensive now, but do you want to trade the quality of life over the long run?

I hope you find a dentist you can trust that can effectively provide you will all of your options. There are affordable dentist options out there. You would be surprised how many dentists truly want to make a difference and will phase out treatment plans over time, sometimes over many years. That way you can pay as you go. Or others have access to low financing payment plans or other ways to arrange payment. Don’t set yourself into thinking dentures are your absolute, only option.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Dental implants vs. removable partial dentures


I currently have removable dentures and I am sick of them! I have been missing several upper teeth for over 20 years. I am considering dental implants and was wondering if that would be a good way to go even though it has been many years?

Currently I have nine teeth missing on top and three missing on the bottom.

– Dolores in Minnesota


Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. They are a permanent solution that looks, feels, and functions just like your natural teeth used to.

There are three main problems when it comes to removable partial dentures and they are outlined below.

  • First off, they can place additional stress on the the teeth that are used to fasten them in place. Over time, patients can actually end up loosing those teeth that they are attached to. This is especially frequent in individuals that are missing many upper teeth as you have mentioned.
  • Removable partials also trap food particles in the clasps that are used to attach them to the teeth. This means that tooth decay can become a serious problem in those areas.
  • Patients also complain of the discomfort caused by removable partial dentures. The upper partial sometimes covers up your palate. In these cases patients have complained of having issues with gagging.

Dental implants will not present any of these problems that you are facing with partial dentures. There is some healing time during the two main parts of the dental implant procedure. And although they tend to cost more, the quality of life you will experience will be well worth it.

When searching for an implant dentist, it is imperative that you proceed with caution. Many dentists make the claim to be implant dentists and in actuality may not have any additional implant training to speak of. And since the designation is not a regulated field within dentistry you need to research the dentist and really look into their credentials and experience with dental implant cases.

It is also quite possible that you may require bone grafting. This step will need to happen before you get the implants placed and is largely due to a condition called facial collapse. What happens over 10 to 20 years of not having teeth is that your body resorbs the jawbone to be used elsewhere in the body. Bone grafting will build the bone back up so the implants can be surgically implanted.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland implant dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Related link: dental implant failure

Will a tooth infection poision my body?

I am wondering what kind of symptoms are to be expected if I have a tooth infection that has not been treated for awhile? I have been experiencing on and off aches, most often in my legs, and my temperature has been up to 102.4 (F) at times. At first I just thought I had a bug of some sort but now I’m starting to think it is because of my teeth. I have had abscesses in the past and several of my teeth are exposed to food and drink because the cavities have fallen out. Do you know if my body can be poisoned from an infection in my tooth?

– Ron in Washington


The symptoms you have described can all be caused from a tooth infection. So the answer is, yes, a tooth infection can poison your system. You need to see a dentist immediately to find out what kind of treatment is needed. The teeth may require root canal treatments to heal them.

It is also possible that when you see the dentist they may recommend having multiple tooth extractions if the teeth are in that bad of shape. Unfortunately, this may cause you issues later because you will have trouble eating. Then, it may be possible to have all your teeth extracted which leads to a condition known as facial collapse. What happens when you are missing several teeth is that the bone is resorbed to be used elsewhere in the body. Some facial collapse patients can’t even wear a denture after their jawbone has shrunk significantly.

Dental implants will prevent facial collapse. So if your teeth are at all salvageable, then you may want to consider replacing them with implants.

I hope you feel better soon.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland implant dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Should my son have all of his teeth extracted?


I have a son who is 22 years old and he is a recovering drug addict. Sadly his drug problem has destroyed his teeth and our dentist is recommending he have all of his teeth extracted. This means he wants to remove 27 teeth and fit him for dentures. That sounds like a lot to me, but I’m not an expert. Do you know if dentures are made to custom fit? If this is the best thing for my son, then I’m on board. He has difficulty eating and chewing right now. But I’m a bit apprehensive.

– Carla in Illinois


In my opinion 22 years old is far to young to have all of your son’s teeth removed and replaced with dentures. He will be dealing with long-term consequences for the rest of his life.

What happens when all of your teeth are extracted is that your jawbone shrinks in a condition called facial collapse. This is because the body senses that the bone is no longer needed to support the teeth. Therefore, by the time he is 40 years old this condition may prevent him from wearing any type of denture. He will be a dental cripple and have extreme difficulty eating. At this time bone grafting can be done to rebuild the jawbone, but the procedure is very expensive. Then as he ages, the condition will only worsen.

If any of this teeth are salvageable, that would be ideal to preserve any of the jawbone that you can. It may end up being more work for your dentist over time, but the result will likely be better for your son’s overall dental health and quality of life.

If none of his teeth can be saved, dental implants are a permanent solution that will prevent facial collapse. They are more expensive than dentures, but even placing a couple implants on the top and on the bottom will go a long way in maintaining his bone preservation.

Your son may have had a tough road with drug addiction, but that doesn’t mean he should only have one option for his treatment.

If he does move forward with the tooth extractions, the amount of novocain required for so many extractions is quite large. And the possibility for trauma is increased.

It is difficult to make recommendations without actually seeing your son, but I would recommend seeking other opinions. You want to make the best long-term decision for his dental health.

I hope this information was helpful.

This post is sponsored by Cleveland implant dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Related links: denture problems, immediate dentures

Should I get a bridge or partial denture?


I have been told that I need a dental bridge. My dentist called it a five unit bridge to be specific. As I understand it, he was afraid that placing a partial denture wouldn’t work since I suffer from gum disease and bone loss. This could end up putting to much pressure on my already loose teeth. I received a quote of $5500 without the tooth extraction costs. Does that sound fair or should I keep looking?

– Paul in Louisiana


The price sounds appropriate for your geographic area. Although, it may be a good idea to get a second opinion to see if a dental bridge truly is the best option for your situation. Typically, a removable partial denture is known to place less stress on the surrounding teeth. Additionally, it is a lot less risky of a procedure. The bridge actually places quite a bit of stress on the teeth that surround the area. If you end up with a problem on one of the supporting teeth, you’d likely have to start over.

Best of luck!

This post is sponsored by Cleveland implant dentist Hylan Dental Care.

Other links you may be interested in: Dental implant vs. bridge; Facial collapse

Dentures don’t fit and are painful

Is there anything that can be done to the lower jaw bone to stop it from curling forward and getting less height? It does not hold up my bottom plate so it hits my lip crevice and causes massive blisters where I have to completely remove my teeth in order to eat without pain. My lower bone structure is like folding or starting to roll forward so it makes my dentures not fit well and very painful.
– Nancy from Missouri

You have very little jawbone left, and this is what happens when you haven’t had teeth for many years. Your jawbone keeps shrinking and it gets more and more difficult to wear a denture comfortably. When your jawbone gets thin like it has for you, it gets sharper, and trying to rest a denture on it can be painful. We call your condition facial collapse, and it happens gradually over a period of ten to twenty years after all your teeth are extracted.

It’s a difficult problem, and the only solution is to have bone grafting done to increase the amount of jawbone, and then you can have dental implants placed which will anchor your denture.

This is why we encourage patients to have dental implants done when they first lose their teeth. When dental implants are present, it prevents facial collapse.

My suggestion is to find a dentist who does a lot of dental implants. You may find dentists who tell you that your case is hopeless and there is nothing that can be done for you. But there are dentists who are successfully treating cases of facial collapse like yours, so keep looking until you can find one. If you can find a dentist who is a fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, that is an excellent credential that tells you the dentist is truly an expert in this work.

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