While maintaining proper dental health is good for everyone, it is especially important in children and the elderly. Recently, researchers have made a discovery that may change the way dentists treat the teeth of older people. Apparently, the size of human jaws decrease as people age, leaving teeth with less room.
While this appears to happen to everyone, some people's jaws shrink more than others, and it can be enough to change their bite. Scientists say dentists need to keep this fact of life in mind when they plan to perform bite constructions on their patients.
"We're working against nature, and it's hard to construct something that is completely stable." said researcher Lars Bondemark.
This process crowds the front teeth, and researchers originally thought that it would only affect patients that still have their wisdom teeth. Surprisingly, whether a person still had these teeth didn't matter, the crowding was simply due to the shrinking of the jaw. How much shrinkage a person can expect to experience can be determined by hereditary and anatomical factors, such as what a person's bite looks like.
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