What Causes Bone Loss?


Bone loss in the jaw commonly occurs when the teeth are removed or fall out. While decayed or damaged teeth might be extracted by a dentist, sometimes the teeth fall out on their own, gradually, because of chronic periodontal disease. This disease, called periodontitis, is characterized by the deterioration of the oral tissues, including the ligaments that hold the teeth in place, the gums, and the tissue that builds the jawbone, and it is most frequently caused by bacteria that proliferate because of inadequate oral hygiene. When the natural teeth are extracted or fall out on their own, the bone that once supported them stops receiving stimulus signals that keep it alive, and the body reabsorbs the bone tissue, assuming it is no longer needed in that area of the jaw. When more teeth are missing, a greater area of bone is affected, and the longer the teeth go unreplaced, the greater the amount of bone lost. This bone loss in the jaw can cause multiple side effects, including aesthetic drawbacks and hygiene issues, and its solution will depend on its specific cause and contributing factors.


Bone loss can also occur when the teeth are aligned improperly, which leads to imbalanced chewing that applies disproportionate force to certain areas of the bone and leads to disproportionate erosion of the alveolar bone ridge that directly supports the teeth. Some infections can damage the bone and cause bone loss; in these cases, the infection must be treated before bone loss can be addressed. When tumors and cysts are present in the face, removing these structures may require removal of a small amount of bone. Of course, injury or trauma that damages a tooth can also damage the bone, and when a tooth is knocked out, the surrounding bone will also undergo damage and require treatment.


While traditional dentures can help restore a person’s appearance and ability to chew some foods, they also contribute to bone loss in the jaw. Because these dental appliances sit on top of the alveolar bone ridge, they can accelerate the loss of this bone by applying pressure to it. As the bone that supports the dentures deteriorates, the dentures cease to fit properly, causing painful friction and sores and increasing the imbalance of pressure on the bone ridge. As the bone is reabsorbed, the lower face begins to appear collapsed and sunken, and the dentures continue to rub and slip.


The most efficient way to prevent bone loss is by replacing the missing tooth root with a dental implant that will stimulate the bone and encourage its growth and vitality. When missing teeth are replaced immediately after being extracted, a maximal amount of bone can be preserved. The best way to prevent bone loss is by preventing gum disease, which can usually be reversed if treated early. Brush your teeth twice daily, making sure to use an effective technique, and floss daily, and see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and dental checkups; sometimes, gum disease can only be detected by a dentist, and early treatment is the best defense against bone loss over the long term.

What is Dental Bone Loss