Common Causes of Jawbone Loss

When it comes to the deterioration of the jaw, there are many possible culprits.

Some of the most common include:

  • Periodontal Disease: Characterized by the buildup of bacteria-filled plaque and tartar, untreated periodontal disease eventually leads to the loss of jawbone and the loosening of teeth.
  • Tooth Extractions: Just like the muscles in your body, your jawbone requires regular stimulation to maintain its mass. If you are missing a tooth you will probably experience jawbone loss over time due to a lack of stimulation. Bone grafting can “fill in” the space with new bone to provide the necessary support for a dental implant.
  • Tumors and Cysts: Both benign and malignant mouth and facial tumors may grow in and around the jaw, requiring a partial removal. In this case major bone grafting is needed to help rehabilitate the jaw and bring full functionality back.
  • Facial Trauma: Fractures to the jaw, tooth loss, and major trauma can all lead to the deterioration of the jawbone.
  • Dentures: Dentures that are not anchored to the bone do not provide adequate jaw stimulation and thus result in bone loss over time. As deterioration continues the shape of the jaw may change, periodically requiring new dentures. To avoid this problem ask us about implant-supported dentures which adequately stimulate the jawbone for improved longevity.
  • Bridges: While the bone underneath the two anchor teeth does receive necessary stimulation, the bone that is under the prosthetic tooth does not, resulting in a loss of bone mass in that area.
  • Misaligned Teeth: In a misaligned smile a tooth sometimes doesn’t have an opposing tooth to curb its growth. This causes it to over-erupt, resulting in bone loss.
  • Developmental Deformities: The jaw may not develop properly due to certain conditions and deformities at birth.
  • Sinus Deficiencies: When the upper molars are removed, air pressure from the sinuses causes resorption of the bone and the sinuses become enlarged, a condition known as “hyperpneumatized sinus”.
  • Infection (“Osteomyelitis”): A bacterial infection in the jawbone (and marrow) leads to inflammation, a reduction of blood supply and, possibly, the loss of bone. 

Jawbone loss is probably more common than you think. Luckily, if you have experienced deterioration yourself, Dr. Betts, Dr. Wasielewski, Dr. Bartling, Dr. Cannavo and Dr. Peters can give you full functionality back with bone grafting right here in our office.

Restore your beautiful smile today!

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