Causes of Jaw Bone Loss and Deterioration
Deterioration and loss of jawbone matter are linked to many different causes. Our team at David Crumpton, DDS want to raise awareness of these causes will help the public avoid these conditions.
Periodontal disease is a chronic gum infection that slowly undermines the support structures of your teeth. Many such diseases attack the bases of your teeth, but the most common culprits of periodontal disease are plaque-induced inflammatory lesions. Experts divide them into two main groups:
Gingivitis is the more superficial of the two and often never develops into periodontitis, but it always appears before periodontitis.
Periodontitis is triggered when bacteria grow on teeth, followed by a highly potent response by the immune system. If gingivitis is allowed to develop into periodontitis, it will erode the bone securing the teeth. If nothing is done to stop the loss of alveolar bone, teeth can become loose and even lost.
The jawbone can atrophy if an adult tooth is extracted without a replacement put in. This is because the roots of your teeth are embedded in your jawbone and stimulate it when you chew and bite. The alveolar bone is the section of the jawbone where the teeth are secured. If a tooth is lost, the alveolar bone underneath is no longer stimulated and starts to resorb (that is, break down).
If your teeth do not align properly, some of your teeth may not have a corresponding tooth to line up with. The tooth without a partner can erupt too far from the gums, causing the bone underneath to deteriorate. Malocclusion, a condition where the teeth don’t contact each other properly, is also responsible for reduced stimulation of the alveolar bone and future bone loss.
Many people suffer accidents, injuries, fractures or past trauma that damages or kills the tissue inside the tooth (called pulp). If one of your teeth gets fractured or knocked out so that no surface is left for biting or chewing, then the jawbone cannot receive stimulation and may suffer loss.
If your molars are extracted from your maxilla (the upper jaw), then you can expect to experience bone loss after the teeth are removed. Not only that, but the maxillary sinus (the air cavity in the maxilla) produces air pressure that can lead the bone to resorb further.
Over several years, the sinuses become enlarged, and the bone becomes too weak to support dental implants in the back part of the upper jaw (known as the posterior maxilla). In these circumstances, Dr. Crumpton can perform a sinus lift to replace lost bone before placing implants.
Osteomyelitis is a bacterial infection that afflicts the jawbone, causing inflammation and potential death of bone tissue. To treat this, we must excise the deceased tissue. If too much is extracted, you may require bone grafting to replace the bone loss to the infection and extraction.
Tumors can form in the jawbone. Even if they’re benign, they can grow to a large size, forcing us to remove part of the jaw. Malignant tumors of the face, neck, and mouth will usually spread into the jaw, also forcing us to remove a portion of it. Either way, patients will usually need reconstructive bone grafting afterward to restore the jaw’s appearance and function. Surgeries removing malignant tumors usually remove a good deal of soft tissue, making reconstructive bone grafting afterward more difficult.
For more information, please contact our office at 817-678-7395.