March 5, 2021
Deterioration of the jaw bone is a more common dental issue than you might think. Sometimes, it’s the result of an infection, while other times, it’s the result of tooth loss or simply the result of the aging process. Whatever the cause may be, bone loss is an issue that needs to be addressed before the situation can escalate into something that’s more difficult to remedy, such as tooth loss. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common causes for dental bone loss.
Your teeth are connected to your jaw bone, and they stimulate its growth whenever you chew. If a tooth is missing, that stimulation is no longer present, and deterioration can begin to occur. Whether you’ve had a tooth extracted or you lost one in another way, you may begin to experience bone loss within about a year-and-a-half. Effects can be mitigated by avoiding tobacco products and maintaining great oral health, and they can be prevented altogether with a dental implant.
Otherwise known as gum disease, or periodontitis, periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that can affect bone growth. The plaque and bacteria that cause gum disease will eventually break down tooth-supporting bone, leading to loose teeth or even tooth loss. There are multiple effective treatments for periodontal disease—many of them are non-invasive, provided that the infection isn’t advanced enough—but prevention is the best method for handling this problem. That can be done by maintaining great oral hygiene.
A broken tooth that has lost its functionality will no longer provide the jaw bone with the stimulation it requires to continue growing. There are many methods to restore function to a damaged tooth, such as onlays, inlays, and crowns. Speak to your dentist about which procedure might best suit your needs before the deterioration becomes too significant. In the event that deterioration does become too significant, you may require a bone grafting procedure in order to reverse the effects of the bone loss.
While some restorative dental procedures might help to stimulate bone growth, there are others that can lead to further deterioration. Dentures that are not anchored do not provide your jaw bone with the appropriate stimulation to reduce the chances of bone loss over time. Bridges can also fail to provide jaw bone stimulation in the area between the two supporting teeth. The solution to this issue is usually a bone graft procedure.
As you can see, some of the reasons that bone loss occurs are preventable, while others are beyond your control. However, it is within your control to take prevention seriously, which means maintaining great oral health at home by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, every single day. Regularly visiting your dentist at least twice a year for routine examinations and cleanings is another key to preventing bone loss. If you are already experiencing symptoms of deterioration, be sure to speak to your dentist and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.