Jawbone Loss 101
After one or more permanent teeth are extracted, jawbone loss can occur – and, it can definitely pose a serious issue, creating problems for the surrounding teeth. It can lead to the teeth getting dislodged and can also cause gum recession and other similar problems. Luckily, there are ways to prevent and treat this problem.
Additionally, if you’re facing dental problems of your own, don’t fret, you can click here and see for yourself the services offered at NextGen Dental. Now, let’s get into discussing everything related to jawbone loss.
Causes of Jawbone Loss
Unfortunately, there are many things that can cause jawbone loss, but let’s preface this by highlighting that we will go over the solutions and prevention methods later in the article – so don’t worry, it’s not all bleak. With that being said, here are the most common causes of jawbone loss and deterioration.
Jawbone loss after tooth extraction is quite common if not approached adequately. It occurs when adult teeth are removed without being replaced. The lack of stimulation from chewing and biting goes missing so the bone starts to deteriorate. The deterioration varies from person to person but most of it will happen in the 18 months after the tooth extraction, continuing at a lower rate throughout the rest of your life.
Periodontal diseases are also a great contributor to jawbone loss. While a rather common periodontal infection caused by teeth plaque such as gingivitis may not seem like a big issue. If it manages to progress into periodontitis it can cause great damage to the gum tissue and jawbone that support and hold the teeth causing permanent tooth loss.
Inadequate tooth replacement can cause jawbone deterioration. Unanchored dentures which are simply placed on top of the gums will not provide adequate jawbone stimulation resulting in jawbone deterioration. It is very important to care for your dentures properly and get them refitted regularly so as to not cause damage to the jawbone since this will also affect the effectiveness of the dentures themselves. Though, anchored dentures on the other hand provide sufficient jawbone stimulation.
If a tooth is broken or forcibly taken out due to injury or accident, and the biting surface left afterward is not sufficient enough for bone stimulation, jawbone loss will occur. Jawbone fractures and dead teeth with a history of trauma may also cause jawbone deterioration even years after the initial damage took place.
When teeth aren’t aligned properly it can result in them not having a proper opposing surface, thus sabotaging proper bone stimulation when biting and chewing. And as we’ve mentioned before, bone stimulation is extremely important in jawbone preservation since in its absence the jawbone starts to deteriorate.
A bacterial infection of the jawbone and the bone marrow inside of it known as Osteomyelitis is also a possible culprit of jawbone loss. The inflammation caused by the infection can cut off the blood supply to the bone causing great damage.
When it comes to benign facial tumors, the removal of one part of the jawbone isn’t always necessary. Unless it grows large enough to affect the jawbone, the removal of the bone won’t be necessary. On the other hand, malignant tumors frequently spread into the jaw, requiring not only the removal of the affected parts but also the removal of surrounding soft tissue which may cause bone grafting to be more difficult.
There are certain conditions that will include missing portions of the teeth, jawbone, facial bones, and skull.
Wisdom teeth extractions in the upper jaw can sometimes lead to resorption of the bone caused by the formation of air pressure in the maxillary sinus. The sinus becomes enlarged and this condition is referred to as a hyper pneumatized sinus. It develops over the years and may cause problems when getting dental implants.
Treatment and Prevention for Jawbone Loss
Jawbone deterioration isn’t unfixable, and there are ways to prevent and treat jawbone loss. So let’s discuss those.
When it comes to tooth replacement, dental implants are definitely the most effective solution. Due to the tiny titanium posts that are a base part of a tooth implant, the jawbone is stimulated, and by stimulating this tissue, the dental implants encourage the maintenance of strength and stability in your jaw. Teeth implants are also a great way to replace missing teeth aesthetics-wise, so both the function and the appearance of your teeth and jaw are covered.
While dental implants work as both a treatment method and a preventive one, bone grafting is the most common form of treatment for jawbone loss. During this procedure, lost tissue will be replaced with grafting material.
As months go by, your body will begin to absorb the grafting material and start replacing it with new healthy tissue, which will restore the volume and density of your jaw. Bone grafting can be done using your own bone, a donor’s bone, or simply synthetic material.
Socket Preservation Grafts
This is something to keep in mind if you’re going in for a tooth extraction – not everyone qualifies for immediate dental implants, so, a socket preservation graft is a good alternative option. This will stop tissue loss in the extraction area, and a socket preservation graft can be performed right after the extraction. The socket will also be filled with grafting material which will encourage your jaw to continue functioning successfully.
When it comes to fully preventing jawbone loss from occurring, the things you can do include changing your lifestyle choices, such as your diet, and vitamin and nutrient intake, and quitting all forms of tobacco if you happen to be smoking or chewing it – since it can be detrimental for the health of your bones.