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Missing Teeth and Bone Loss


X-ray of a mouth with missing teeth and bone loss at Optimum Oral Surgery Group Your teeth have many critical responsibilities. In addition to biting and chewing a wide array of foods, they aid in proper speech and provide you with a gorgeous, confident smile. They also play a crucial role in the health of your jaw. Losing teeth, no matter if you lose one or many, affects every single one of these functions and can even lead to bone loss in the jaw. In the event of bone loss, Optimum Oral Surgery Group can help.

Losing Your Teeth


Tooth loss is a serious issue that can be caused by some different situations. Gum disease is the most common cause. When you have gum disease, bacteria cause irritation and inflammation of your gum tissue. As your gums swell, pockets form, allowing bacteria to fall below the gumline. Once there, the bacteria begin attacking your periodontal ligaments and jawbone, which can ultimately lead to tooth loss. Other causes of tooth loss include:
•  Facial trauma. This can result from a car accident, a sports injury, or a fall.
•  Severe tooth decay.
•  Bruxism, or a condition in which you clench and grind your teeth.

Tooth Loss and Bone Loss


Tooth loss does more than affect your smile. It impacts your abilities to bite, chew, and speak properly. Tooth loss also impacts the health of your jawbone. One of the responsibilities of your teeth is to stimulate your jawbone. This stimulation tells your body that nutrients are needed. Following tooth loss, your jaw receives less stimulation. This results in fewer nutrients being sent to your jaw. Over time, the bone begins to grow weak and change shape. This can cause adjacent teeth to begin to shift out of alignment as well as causes changes in your facial shape.

Stopping Bone Loss in its Tracks


Following tooth loss, you have a few options for replacement. Traditional bridges and dentures replace many of the functions of your missing teeth, but they cannot stop bone loss. As a result, your restorations need to be replaced every few years to ensure comfort and proper functioning.

Dental implants are a unique treatment designed to address this issue. Not only do they restore the functions of your missing teeth, but they also restore the stimulation to your jawbone. This helps to stop bone loss in its tracks and prevent new bone loss from occurring.

For dental implants to be placed successfully, however, you need to have sufficient bone mass remaining in your jaw. Without it, your restorations may be loose, or your implants may fail. Missing too much bone mass does not mean that dental implants are impossible though. Bone mass can be restored in a couple of different ways. One way is with a traditional bone graft. This procedure uses bone harvested from your own body, a donor, or a non-human source such as a cow bone. The other option is bone morphogenic protein. With this treatment, BMP soaked collagen strips are applied to the weak areas of your jaw, where the BMP works to stimulate new bone growth. After you have healed from a bone graft or BMP, dental implants can then be placed.

After tooth loss, it is important that you have those missing teeth replaced. Dental implants provide you with a unique treatment for tooth loss that can stop bone loss in its tracks and maintain the integrity of your jaw. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Optimum Oral Surgery Group at (856) 778-8686 today.

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