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3 Common Reasons for Losing Bone Tissue in Your Jaws

3 Common Reasons for Losing Bone Tissue in Your Jaws

Your mouth provides many functions, including speech, breathing, and being the starting point of your digestive system. And when it comes to keeping your mouth healthy, protecting your dental health means a lot more than caring for your teeth. Anything that damages your teeth can do damage to your gums and the bone in your jaw over time, leading to many complications, including bone loss. Despite bone being the hard material that forms the frame for our bodies, it is a living thing, and there are many ways to damage it. And damage to the bone in your jaw can lead to other serious complications. Let’s examine the bone in your jaw, the conditions that can lead to bone loss, and how they may be treated.

If you live in West Palm Beach, Florida, and you’re looking for treatment for your dental needs Dr. Sujay Trivedi, Dr. Michael C. Westcott, and the compassionate team at Family Dental Care are here to help. We are committed to helping you with a wide range of dental needs from medical to cosmetic, and our state-of-the-art facilities help patients ages 8 and up.

Understanding the bone in your jaw

Bones are more than just the framework that holds our bodies together and allows us to move. They possess blood vessels, nerves, cartilage, collagen, and bone marrow, where blood cells are created. Your jaw is composed of two major bones: the upper jaw (maxilla) and the lower jaw (mandible), and their size and position determine where your teeth fit in your mouth. Because tooth decay is a common problem, any infection that affects the gums will invariably do damage to the bone in your upper and lower jaw.

Conditions that lead to bone loss

A few conditions can lead to bone loss and contribute to other complications, including:

Periodontitis

Also referred to as gum disease, this infection of the gums will over time create damage in both your teeth and your bone. Poor dental habits, poor diet, smoking, chewing tobacco, and obesity can all contribute to periodontitis.

Missing teeth

The result of injury to your mouth, tooth decay, or the previously mentioned periodontitis, when you lose teeth, that loss can lead to reduced bone mass in your jaw.

Osteoporosis

A problem that becomes a greater risk as you age, this condition reduces the amount of new bone tissue your body produces. This leads to your bones becoming more brittle and weak, making fractures and breaks easier.

Whenever you lose a tooth, whether it’s because of gum disease, injury, or an extraction, the process of ossification (where new bones are produced to replace lost bone material) is no longer stimulated. So even when new bone tissue is forming, it happens at a much slower rate than the bone that is lost. Losing bone in your jaw can cause you to lose teeth and make replacement teeth difficult to attach.

Methods of treatment

If you’ve lost too much bone in your jaw, bone grafting is a form of bone augmentation that can help build density and volume in the areas of your jaw that need it. The procedure replaces missing bone with grafting material to encourage regeneration of bone in the affected area. The material used in bone grafting can come from your own body, someone else’s, or even the inorganic part of animal bone. Other grafts can be used with hydroxyapatite (which naturally occurs in your bone) or a ceramic based material often using calcium or bioactive glass.

Losing bone tissue can create problems for treatment, but help is available, and we help people get their smile back with bone grafting to support dental implants and other tooth replacements. So, if you’re looking for dental treatment, but you’ve lost bone, make an appointment with Drs. Trivedi, Westcott, and Family Dental today to get started.

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