Bone loss can happen for several reasons; however, it can commonly result from an unreplaced missing tooth. Your natural teeth are embedded in your jawbone to stimulate bone growth when you chew and bite foods. When you lose a tooth, the bone in the area will no longer get the necessary stimulation, so it resorbs. You will lose more than 20% of the bone within the first year of losing the tooth, and the deterioration continues. Thankfully, dental implants in King of Prussia, PA, are a reliable solution to replace missing teeth and preserve your jawbone.
Reasons Bone Loss Occurs
Aside from tooth loss, you could lose a jawbone due to the following:
- Gum disease. Serious gum infections can damage soft tissue and your jawbone. Dental plaque can lead to tooth decay and early-stage gum disease called gingivitis. Everyday brushing and flossing can prevent dental plaque. However, when not addressed, it can harden into tartar, which can develop above and below your gum line, irritating your gums and causing them to bleed and swell. Untreated gingivitis can become periodontitis, which can lead to bone loss.
- Bridgework or dentures. Dentures placed on top of your gum line do not give jawbone growth stimulation. This lack of stimulation can lead to bone resorption and deterioration, which makes it more difficult to eat and speak properly. When loose dentures are not fixed or replaced, bone loss can become serious that the dentures can fall out.
Bridge-supported dentures use the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth to offer enough stimulation and preserve the jawbone. But the gap still does not get direct stimulation and can lead to bone loss. Also, bridgework may require filling down the neighboring teeth to attach a dental appliance.
- Mouth trauma. A damaged or knocked-out tooth that can’t give the stimulation from chewing and biting can cause jawbone loss. Often, dental trauma can result from a sport-related injury such as knocked-out teeth, fractures, and chipped or cracked teeth.
- Misalignment. Misalignment can cause bone loss when your teeth do not offer direct stimulation because of an opposing tooth structure. Also, natural activities like chewing and biting cannot be performed due to misalignment problems such as wisdom teeth erupting, TMJ, and normal wear and tear.
Addressing Bone Loss
Your dentist can determine the reason you may be losing your jawbone and which kind of dental solution you need to prevent further loss. It is important to follow good oral hygiene and care to ensure a successful treatment. In serious cases, your dentist will perform bone grafting to replace missing bone.