How to Repair Bone Loss in the Jaw?
The jawbone is an important part of your face. It gives structure to your facial features and allows you to chew and speak properly.
When you experience bone loss in the jaw, it can affect many other aspects of your mouth and overall health. Atrophy in the jaw can be caused by a variety of causes, including tooth loss, gum disease, and certain medical conditions. Untreated jawbone loss can cause problems with your remaining teeth, collapse or deterioration of facial features, and a host of other concerns.
The most common treatment for jawbone atrophy is a dental bone graft. If you are concerned about possible bone loss in your jaw, we recommend talking to your dentist. They can recommend the best course of treatment for you.
Bone Loss Symptoms
Many patients with periodontal disease or missing teeth will experience bone loss in their jaws as a result. Generally, the process is gradual and you may not immediately notice your jawbone atrophying. The most effective way to diagnose tissue loss in your jaw is to visit your dentist.
They may use x-rays and cone beam imaging to assess the density of your jaw and determine if you need treatment. While the most common causes are tooth loss and gum disease, a number of other issues can also cause tissue loss in your jaw.
Some changes in your facial features and bite may indicate jawbone loss. When the volume of tissue in your chin decreases, you may notice that your mouth appears sunken into your face, your chin becomes sharper, or wrinkles begin to form around the mouth. In addition, prosthetic wearers often experience changes in the fit and comfort of their restorations due to bone loss. Your teeth may also start to slide forward in your mouth.
What Causes Bone Loss in the Jaw?
Jaw bone loss can be caused by many reasons. While the most common causes are tooth loss and gum disease, a number of other issues can also cause tissue loss in your jaw. For example, smoking can affect bone density in all parts of the body, including the jaw.
Your teeth help maintain the natural height and thickness of your jawbone. The section of bone that surrounds the roots of your teeth is known as the alveolar bone. Throughout your daily life, roots stimulate this part of the bone, indicating to the brain that resources are needed in a particular area of the jaw. Based on this stimulus, the body sends calcium and other nutrients to the jaw, promoting continued bone growth.
When a tooth is extracted or lost due to trauma, there are no longer any roots to stimulate the alveolar bone. Over time, the body stops sending resources to the area where the tooth is, and that part of the jaw gradually deteriorates. The longer missing teeth are left untreated, the more tissue is lost until the bone beneath the adjacent teeth is affected, which can lead to further tooth loss.
Prostheses and Bridge Procedures
Traditional methods of replacing lost teeth include dentures and dental bridges. These restorations can replace missing teeth to create a more natural smile and naturally improve your ability to eat and speak. However, dentures and bridges do not protect your jaw against bone loss.
Bridges are made up of artificial teeth supported by dental crowns. Since the crowns are placed on the natural teeth, the jawbone under these teeth remains intact. Unfortunately, the areas of the jaw where teeth have been lost will continue to lose tissue.
On the other hand, dentures can actually exacerbate jaw bone loss. Conventional full dentures rely directly on gingival tissues without support from teeth or dental implants. They do not provide enough stimulation to prevent tissue degradation. In addition, dentures tend to slide and rub against the gum tissue. Over time, this process can accelerate tissue loss in the jaw.
Chronic infection of the gum tissue, known as periodontal disease, affects the structures that support the tooth, such as alveolar bone and other ligaments. In the advanced stages, the bacteria associated with periodontal disease start to eat by supporting the gingival and bone tissue and cause tooth loss and bone loss in the jaw.
Because most of the symptoms of gum disease are painless, this condition often goes unnoticed for a long time. If periodontal disease is left untreated, it can seriously damage the strength and stability of your jaw.
Jaw injury and dental trauma are also associated with bone loss. If a tooth is broken, bone stimulation to the jaw stops and causes tissue deterioration. Also, jaw fractures or a history of trauma affecting certain teeth can cause tissue death and bone loss years after the initial injury.
Tissue loss in your jawbone can greatly affect your appearance and oral health.
Certain medical conditions increase your chances of jawbone atrophy. A condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle