The reason for undergoing a bone grafting procedure is the loss of density in the jawbone. Because of the importance of this bone in your daily life, allowing it to deteriorate will affect not only the function of your mouth, but your overall health as well. If you have lost a tooth and are experiencing weakness or deterioration of your jawbone, contact us today to schedule a diagnostic consultation and learn what we can do for you.
The Importance of Teeth for Jaw Bone Health
Losing permanent teeth is much more serious a matter than the loss of our baby teeth, especially because the tooth fairy rarely makes visits to adult pillows. When one or more teeth remain missing for a period of time, your jawbone no longer has any roots stimulating it to remain strong and continue bonding; therefore, these sites of missing teeth lead to deterioration of the jawbone. This loss of bone can spread, affecting the way your jawline appears, the health of your teeth and eventually your overall health can be affected as your eating habits and lifestyle begin to suffer. Losing only one tooth can eventually lead to the loss of ability to speak and eat normally.
Bone tissue works very similarly to muscle: muscles are maintained through regular use and exercise and so is bone tissue. Although we do not exercise our bone tissue in the same way we do our muscles, stimulation such as chewing and biting as well as the continuous bond with embedded natural teeth is what allows bone tissue to remain strong. When a tooth is missing, the portion of the jawbone that holds the teeth in the mouth loses its regular stimulation and resorbs or breaks down gradually. When the body is no longer in need of this bone tissue, it has no need to work to sustain it.
What Can Cause Jawbone Loss & Deterioration
While tooth loss is the most common cause of jawbone deterioration, there are other conditions that may cause your jawbone to become weak and brittle. The following are the most common causes, which may require bone grafting:
Many patients who require tooth extractions suffer from jawbone deterioration due to lack of follow-through in having the missing tooth replaced. The alveolar bone (the part of the jaw that acts as an anchor for your teeth) needs stimulation in order to stay strong, and without a replacement tooth in the missing spot, the bone will begin to lose its form.Most bone loss occurs within 18 months of the tooth extraction. It is important to have a lost tooth replaced immediately.
Periodontal diseases are chronic gum infections that affect your natural teeth by destroying the supportive tissue that keeps them in place. This type of disease may occur in a range of locations within the oral system, but has lasting affects no matter where it hits.
What is the leading cause of periodontal disease? Plaque. Simple dental plaque that your dentist removes during your routine cleaning is the primary cause of gingivitis, which is the primary cause of periodontitis. Caring for your oral health is supremely important in maintaining your teeth and jawbone.
Because dentures are simply adhered to the gum line and not attached to the alveolar bone, they do not provide any stimulation for your jawbone tissue to maintain its form and strength. You may have a functioning set of teeth, but as the bone deteriorates over time, there will be less support for your gums and dentures as your facial structure may be compromised.
Dentures that are supported by anchors do help to stimulate the jawbone tissue and are very beneficial in maintaining your oral health and preserving bone.
Bridges are anchored into the jaw, but only in select places. The gaps between these anchors are susceptible to bone deterioration and a bone grafting procedure may be required.
Trauma, such as an athletic injury, violent incident or accident, can cause a tooth to be loosened or lost and therefore a gap in the mouth susceptible to jawbone loss. A broken jaw is especially at risk and must be tended to immediately.