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What Causes Bone Loss in the Jaw?

Posted on 6/15/2024 by Clackamas Oral Surgery Office
3D rendering of a bone graft being placedOur jawbone is a silent supporter, anchoring our teeth and shaping our face. But like any bone, it is susceptible to wear and tear. Jawbone loss can be a sneaky culprit, leading to loose teeth, facial sagging, and difficulty eating. So, what exactly munches away at our jawbone?

Tooth Loss and Extractions

When a tooth is missing or removed, the bone that once supported it no longer receives stimulation from chewing. This lack of stimulation can lead to bone resorption, where the bone gradually diminishes over time. To prevent excessive bone loss after tooth extraction, dentists often recommend dental implants or bridges to provide support and maintain bone density.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is another significant contributor to bone loss in the jaw. This condition occurs when bacteria infect the gums, causing inflammation and damage to the surrounding tissues. Over time, untreated periodontal disease can lead to the destruction of the bone that supports the teeth. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing, prevent periodontal disease.

Health Conditions

Certain health conditions, such as osteoporosis and autoimmune disorders, can also increase the risk of bone loss in the jaw. Osteoporosis, in particular, causes a decrease in bone density throughout the body, including the jawbone. Individuals with these health conditions should work closely with their healthcare providers to manage their condition and minimize the impact on oral health.

Congenital Deformities

In some cases, congenital deformities or developmental abnormalities can contribute to bone loss in the jaw. Conditions such as cleft palate or craniofacial syndromes may affect the normal development of the jawbone, leading to structural deficiencies and increased susceptibility to bone loss. Treatment for congenital deformities often involves surgical intervention and long-term dental care to address bone loss and restore oral function.

Early diagnosis and treatment of jawbone issues are crucial. If you notice any changes in your bite, loose teeth, or facial sagging, consult our dentist for a check-up. Remember, a healthy jawbone is the foundation for a healthy smile.

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