Missing or damaged teeth? Signs you are at risk for dental bone loss
It’s important to be aware of the risk factors that can go into dental bone loss and ways to prevent it to maintain a healthy mouth.
Our friendly Atascadero dentist has provided a list of all the factors of bone loss, especially if you’ve recently had a missing tooth that has been left untreated.
The most common causes for jawbone deterioration and loss include:
Natural teeth help stimulate bone growth through various activities, including biting and chewing. When a tooth is extracted but not replaced, that portion of the jawbone no longer receives the required stimulation and starts to deteriorate and resorb.
Serious gum infections such as gingivitis or periodontitis damage soft tissue and destroys the bone structure that supports your teeth.
Plaque is the most common form of tooth decay and the primary cause of gingivitis. Plaque left unchecked through a lack of regular brushing and check-ups with your dentist can harden into tartar. This causes gums to become inflamed and bleed easily.
This may progress into more serious gum diseases, if left untreated, including periodontitis. That’s when supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place starts to deteriorate, which can lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of neighboring teeth.
Dentures or bridgework
Loose dentures that are placed on top of the gum line may not necessarily provide any direct stimulation to the underlying jawbone.
This lack of stimulation may cause the bone to resorb and deteriorate over time, making it harder for users to eat and speak properly. This is where the term loose dentures come from. Bone loss may become so severe that dentures can no longer be held in place, even with the use of stronger adhesives.
Bridge supported dentures, which use adjacent teeth as support, may provide adequate stimulation to preserve the bone. But the portion that the bridge spans across missing teeth will receive no direct stimulation and can often result in bone loss.
If a tooth is knocked out or damaged, this may also cause jawbone loss to occur. Common forms of trauma are usually the result of a sport-related injury, including jaw fractures, knocked out, cracked or chipped teeth.
Only your dentist will be able to provide you with the exact cause of bone loss and the type of dental solution needed.
Good oral hygiene and care greatly improves your chances of successful treatment. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing with proper technique at least once a day, and visiting your dentist regularly.
Bone grafting may be required in severe cases to replace missing bone and to promote the growth of new bone. This opens the door for other dental treatments, including dental implants.
For questions or to schedule a consultation if you’re concerned about bone loss or have missing teeth, the Atascadero dental team at Guittard & Sierra Family Dentistry is always a call or click away.