Getting Older? Your Jaw is Shrinking!

If you think your teeth only shift during childhood, think again. As you age, your jaw can shrink and cause teeth crowding. Fortunately, Dr. Michael Young can help you retain straight teeth and a beautiful smile throughout life.

Shrinking Jaws

A study by the Faculty of Dentistry at Malmö University tracked the shape and features of participants’ jaws over four decades. The researchers took plaster molds of patients’ jaws when they were in their twenties. Ten and forty years later, they took additional molds. They found that as participants aged, their jaws had less room for teeth.

Jaws shrunk in length and width, and the lower jaw shrunk more than the upper. This shrinkage is only a few millimeters, but it’s enough to crowd teeth. Many people opt for wisdom teeth extraction to reduce the risk for teeth crowding, but the study revealed that even people without wisdom teeth had crowded front teeth due to jaw shrinkage.

Solutions to Shrinkage

Jaw shrinkage could affect your bite by allowing teeth to shift out of place. This can lead to jaw joint problems, called temporomandibular joint disorder. To correct the alignment of adult teeth, Dr. Young offers Invisalign, an orthodontic system that involves a custom series of clear, removable aligners.

Contact Dr. Young at our dental office in Lafayette, Louisiana at (337) 237-6453 to keep your smile healthy at any age.