Jawbone Loss and Deterioration


Losing teeth is an issue that significantly impacts your entire life. Basic functions like eating and speaking are affected. So too is the quality of your smile. One of the lesser known effects of tooth loss is what it does do your jawbone. Treasure Valley Oral & Facial Surgery is here to help.

Tooth Loss and Bone Loss


One of the lesser known jobs of your teeth is what they do for the health of your jawbone. Every time you chew, your teeth stimulate the bone. This stimulation tells your body to send essential nutrients to your jaw. After you have suffered tooth loss, however, your jawbone loses the stimulation from your missing teeth. Your body then begins to think that your jaw needs fewer nutrients. Because of this, fewer are sent. Over time, the bone begins to weaken and change shape.

What Else Can Cause Bone Loss in Your Jaw?


Tooth loss is one of the most common causes of bone deterioration in your jaw. There are a few other issues that can also cause bone loss, including:
•  Advanced stages of gum disease
•  Facial trauma
•  Cysts
•  Tumors
•  Misaligned teeth
•  Denture wear, particularly wearing ill-fitting dentures

What are the Effects of Bone Loss?


When you lose bone mass in your jaw, several issues arise. Common issues caused by bone deterioration include:
•  Changes in the shape of your jawbone.
•  Shifting teeth. As your jawbone changes shape, your healthy teeth begin to shift out of alignment.
•  Bruxism and TMJ disorder.
•  Increased risks for gum disease and tooth damage.
•  Changes in your facial shape. As your jawbone changes shape, it can impact the shape of your face, causing you to appear older than you are.

How Can Jawbone Deterioration Be Stopped?


Following tooth loss, it is important that your missing teeth be replaced. While traditional treatments for tooth loss can restore many of the functions of your missing teeth, they cannot stop bone deterioration. Dental implants are a modern solution for tooth loss. This treatment uses small titanium posts that are surgically placed into your jawbone. These posts provide support for your replacement teeth. In addition to supporting your new teeth, the posts also function like replacement roots and restore stimulation to your jawbone. By restoring stimulation, your body begins to send more nutrients again. Bone loss is stopped and prevented, and your jaw remains strong and healthy.

What if I Have Lost too Much Bone Mass?


While dental implants help to stop bone deterioration, treatment relies on the proper fusion of your bone to the posts. If you have lost too much bone mass, the bone may not be able to fuse properly, or at all. This can result in unstable teeth or implant failure.

If your jawbone is too weak, this does not mean that you cannot get dental implants. Instead, you may first be recommended for a bone graft. This is a surgical procedure that involves transplanting bone mass to the weak areas of your jaw. As you heal, your existing bone fuses to the grafting material, restoring strength to your jaw. Once you have healed from this procedure, then implants can be placed.

Replacing missing teeth after tooth loss is essential for restoring the functions of your missing teeth and improving your quality of life. Dental implants are one of the most popular treatments available. Not only do implants restore the functions of your missing teeth, but they also help to preserve the health and strength of your jawbone. Call Treasure Valley Oral & Facial Surgery today at (208) 994-6227 to learn more.

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