Bone loss can occur for a number of reasons, but the most common cause of bone loss is when a missing tooth or several teeth have not been replaced or substituted. If there are no teeth, the bone no longer receives the stimulation to grow, causing the bone to resorb. 25% of bone is lost within the first year of tooth extraction, and the bone will continue to deteriorate over time. This blog will discuss 5 causes of bone loss and how to treat it before serious damage is done to your mouth and teeth.
What Causes Bone Loss?
The most common causes of jawbone deterioration and loss include:
1. Tooth Extractions
Natural teeth stimulate bone growth through various activities like biting and chewing. When a tooth is extracted but not replaced, that portion of the jawbone no longer receives this stimulation and starts to deteriorate and resorb.
2. Gum Diseases
Serious gum infections both damage soft tissue and destroy the bone structure that supports your teeth. Dental plaque is the root cause of gingivitis. The plaque can harden into a rough, porous substance called tartar. The gumline then gets irritated, causing the gums to become inflamed, red, swollen, and bleed easily. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can become a more serious gum disease where supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place starts to deteriorate. Losing bone can lead to your neighboring teeth loosening and eventually falling out.
3. Dentures or Bridgework
Loose dentures placed on top of the gum line do not provide direct stimulation to the underlying jawbone and must rely on the current bone structure to hold them in place. Lack of stimulation will occur again, causing the bone to resorb and deteriorate, making it harder for users to eat and speak properly. If left untreated, the bone loss could become so severe that the dentures will no longer be held in place, even with strong adhesives.
Bridge-supported dentures use adjacent teeth as support so they can provide adequate stimulation to preserve the bone. However, the portion that the bridge spans where there are missing teeth will receive no direct stimulation and can result in bone loss.
When a tooth is knocked out or damaged, it can no longer provide the stimulation received from biting or chewing, so jawbone loss can occur. Common forms of dental trauma are sport-related injuries like jaw fractures, knocked-out teeth, and cracked or chipped teeth.
Missing teeth results in misalignment because certain teeth no longer have opposing teeth structures to chew or bite against. Again, this limits the direct stimulation the bone needs to grow, resulting in bone loss. Other misalignment issues like TMJ, wisdom teeth erupting, lack of treatment, and normal wear-and-tear, can also result in not being able to chew and bite, so again, there will be bone loss.
Many things can cause bone loss, so only your dentist can tell you the best dental solution to prevent further loss. That being said, good oral hygiene improves your chances of successful treatment. California Dental Care is here to discuss your concerns and provide treatment solutions for bone loss. If you are concerned you may be experiencing bone loss, call (707) 535-8008 or click here to schedule an appointment today.