As we age, our bone density all over our body tends to decrease, which is why osteoporosis, a severe case of bone loss, is so common among seniors, leading to hip fractures and other broken bones.
One factor in weak bones is a diet that is too low in calcium and magnesium and too high in phosphorus, which will cause their deterioration, as well as increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. Foods with excessive phosphorus include processed and packaged meats and fish, hot dogs, processed cheese, ice cream, frozen yogurt, fast food, pizza, pancakes, corn bread, and canned soups. Beverages with this imbalance include beer, cocoa, soda, and milk. The good news is that fruits and vegetables are mostly low in phosphorus:
The Jawbone is Affected by Dental Health
But as good as your diet may be in this respect, the strength of your jawbone is much more affected by your oral health habits. Few of us were taught in childhood the right way to thoroughly clean our teeth and gums. On your next visit to Dr. Cluff’s dental office in Lakeside and Chula Vista, have a team member demonstrate the detailed method for brushing after breakfast and dinner for two minutes each time, as well as the proper technique for flossing to be most effective.
Regular Care and Maintenance is a Must
But even those who are diligent find it challenging to consistently remove every bit of food from every corner of their mouth. When left on, bacteria quickly create a sticky film known as plaque, and gradually this infection pulls the gums away from the teeth they support, so they eventually fall out. If not replaced, the neighboring teeth lean in to fill the gaps and they become loose and may have to be removed. That’s why it is vital to have our dental hygienist use her training and special tools to scrape off the plaque at least twice a year.
But if you already have lost one or more teeth or some are loose and need to be removed, dentists agree that the best solution is to have dental implants placed (the alternative of a dental bridge does not last nearly as long, while a denture does not stop bone loss).
A dental implant consists of a biocompatible metal screw that is inserted into the socket of where your tooth was. Over a few months, this integrates with the jawbone, which stops the bone loss that would otherwise occur and keeps the neighboring teeth in their place. Once healed, Dr. Cluff, who is a specialist in implants, will connect the implant to a crown, a customized artificial tooth that looks so natural, no one will know it is not one of your original adult teeth. With proper care, a dental implant can last a lifetime.
Give our office a call to schedule an examination so you know what your oral health status is and find out your best options are.