Bone loss around the teeth and in the jaws is far more common than you might believe, and it can occur as a result of tooth loss or, more commonly, periodontitis, which is also called gum disease. This is a disease in which the bacteria in dental plaque eat away at the bone that supports the teeth.
Bone loss in teeth can affect people of all ages, including those who have previously had perfectly healthy teeth. However, as you get older, it becomes more common.
What is Bone Loss in Teeth?
When the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth weakens as a result of disease or infection, it can cause the teeth to become loose, move, and spread out.
For example, when a tooth is lost or has to be extracted, bone loss can impact the surrounding jawbone, resulting in both jawbone and gum shrinkage.
What are Signs of Bone Loss in Teeth?
Periodontitis and bone loss are likely if your teeth have started to move or loosen, or if your gums have shrunk, swelled, or bled when you wash your teeth. You must get professional guidance and treatment as soon as possible, or you risk losing your teeth. A gap or gaps between the teeth, foul breath, movable teeth, inflamed or bleeding gums, or gum recession are all common signs of bone loss in teeth.
If you see any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist right away. If you regularly visit your dentist for periodic dental exams and cleanings, your dentist may be able to detect these signs early on.
Causes of Bone Loss in Teeth
Bone loss affects a significant number of people. The most prevalent causes of this dental issue are missing teeth and periodontitis.
Missing or Extracted Teeth
Studies show that 25% of the surrounding bone is lost in the first year after a tooth is gone, and it will continue to wear away over time. The reason is that the pressure and stress of chewing normally strengthens and preserves your jawbone. The bone resorbs into the body when the pressure is no longer present.
Periodontitis or gum disease
Periodontitis is a condition in which bacteria in your mouth eat away at the underlying jawbone that attaches the tooth (or implant) to the bone.
Prevention of Bone Loss in Teeth
Prevention measures are always better than seeking a cure. It is possible to prevent bone loss in teeth. Firstly, you should protect your teeth and gums against gum disease. If you follow a healthy dental routine at home and visit your dentist regularly, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing gum disease.
Consult your dentist on what preventative measures you can take against periodontitis. On the other hand, if you have lost a tooth or received an extraction, it is highly recommended to replace it with an artificial one. Your dentist can prescribe the appropriate replacement procedure depending on individual needs.
San Diego Dental Care
Learn more about dental care and book your appointment today at Fine Dentistry’s clinic in San Diego.