It’s funny that we don’t spend much time in our daily lives thinking about our bones. Most of the time that is because, other than our teeth and nails, we don’t see them and other than nutritional supplements and regular exercise we can’t do much to impact our bone health. But the bones in our body are pivotal for our way of life.
For example, some of us that have an aunt, uncle, grandparent, parent or sibling with dentures, and we can attest that they look different when they take their teeth out. And it isnt just because they have a gummy smile! It kind of looks like their chin is getting closer to their nose…or is it the other way around, and their face looks sunken in. Sound about right?
You are not imagining things. Their facial structure is changing over time due to the missing teeth. Without our teeth our jaw bone starts to deteriorate away.
Our bones are a lot more like our muscles than we may have initially understood. Like our muscle tissue, if we don’t use it we lose it! Our muscles turn to fat or disappear. Our bone is the same way. If we don’t provide the proper support it disappears over time.
So a challenge that our family members suffer as they age and get dentures, or lose a few teeth, is the jaw bone itself is no longer supported by their teeth and roots. The roots that hold our teeth in place also provide vital support and nutrients to the jaw bone making it stay strong and healthy.
How do we help our bones stay healthy as we age?
So glad you asked! Here are 4 things we can start doing today to help us preserve our bone health for years to come! (tips from Healthline.com)
1) Consuming foods that are nutrient-dense like vegetables, proteins , and food containing zinc, Omega-3 fats and magnesium help our bodies from the inside out. A diet high in nutrition and vitamin-rich foods give our bones the support they need to stay healthy and strong. So next time Mom says to “eat your vegetables”…you should! She is helping you build strong bones!
2) Maintain a stable and healthy weight. Being overweight is hard on your joints, which in turn is hard on your bones. But having a healthy weight allows your bones to function optimally all the time which will decease your aches and pains over time. To maintain a healthy weight it is encourage to weight train. The added benefit is lifting weights on a regular basis builds muscle, which helps support your skeletal system providing it with the support it needs to combat osteoporosis, ostiopenia and even breast cancer. So lots of great added value here!
3) Avoiding low calorie diets can also help improve bone health. Low calorie diets aren’t good for any part of your body, but your bone marrow, density, and resilience to disease and infection are centered on the nutrients you take in and absorb. So while all calories are the same, and muscle does weigh the same as fat, a diet that is rich in nutrients and is of proper caloric intake can make a big difference on your bone health over the years.
4) Lastly, implants. For those of us with dentures already, it may be a good idea to look into implants. This dental solution helps bring vitality and stability back to your jaw bone health ensuring your youthful appearance for years to come! Not to mention the all on 4 implants help lock those dentures in place so no more slip and slide a family photo time, or denture creams that can cause their own problems. (That’s a topic for another day!)
As we age, life happens! It is easy to fall into bad habits, grab that fast food on the way home, or even take in more sugar or carbs than we should. If we aren’t paying attention these bad habits add up and can be more costly to us than a new wardrobe every year. These things will have an impact on our bone health and ultimately the quality of our lives as we age. If you are looking for some help getting back on the right track for your bone health visit The North Carolina State Health Plan and consult your regular care physician.
For more information on implants and how they can be used to preserve bone health, call our office today! We are happy to help you discover your implant options for a happier healthier life!