There are many issues that we may experience with our oral health but one of the more severe problems that can occur is a problem with bone loss. Understanding what causes bone loss can help you to avoid problems in many cases. If you are already experiencing dental bone loss, there may be some things that can be done in order to correct it or to keep it from getting any worse.
One of the more common reasons why people experience dental bone loss is because they are missing teeth. It could be that they were missing them from a young age or, as we get older, we may end up having teeth pulled and we never have an implant inserted in the area. If the tooth is not replaced or if there are multiple teeth that are not replaced, the bone is eventually going to dissipate and be reabsorbed into your body.
The bone is supported and preserved because your teeth are in place and they are used for chewing. As you continue to chew, it is that stimulation and the pressure that it exerts on the bone that keeps it in place and thriving. After your teeth are missing, there is nothing to keep the bone in place so you may lose up to 25% of your bone from that area in the first year after the tooth is extracted.
Another common reason why you may experience dental bone loss is because of a type of bacteria that leads to a problem known as periodontitis. The teeth may still be in place but there are ligaments that connect the bone that supports the teeth to the tooth itself. When you have periodontitis, bacteria that is in the area will eventually eat away the bone that supports the tooth and it will also affect those ligaments that hold the tooth in place as well.
Unfortunately, when you experience dental bone loss, it is a problem that is typically going to be permanent. You might wonder if replacing the teeth with implants or getting dentures is going to correct the problem because it would cause the chewing to take place again. In reality, the stimulation provided by dentures is only approximately 10% of what is experienced by your natural teeth. That isn’t enough to cause the bone to grow back.
When the teeth are removed from the upper jaw, it can even cause further problems because the bone is reabsorbed into the body as it is expanded further into the area of the sinus cavity. Since the teeth are no longer in place, the pressure that is inside of the cavity can cause the bone that is surrounding the sinuses in that area to be re-absorbed.
There are also additional reasons why you may experience a problem with bone loss. These include misaligned teeth, bone infections and facial tumors that would cause some of the bone to be removed along with the tumor itself.
Individuals with dentures may also experience a type of bone loss that is easily seen. This bone loss is so severe that it ends up collapsing the lower part of the face.
Although building back up the bone after it is gone is next to impossible, it may be possible to prevent bone loss by having a replacement tooth inserted immediately when one is lost. This type of a dental implant will act like a normal tooth and provide the stimulus that is necessary to keep the bone healthy. In addition, you may consider some other forms of treatment, such as bone grafting or a sinus lift. It isn’t as effective as an implant, but it may help.