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What causes jaw bone loss?

Bone loss is a common consequence of loss of teeth and chronic periodontitis. In the case of periodontitis, the bacteria gradually eats away at the underlying jawbone and at the periodontal ligaments that connect the tooth to the bone. The most common cause of jawbone loss is tooth loss left unreplaced, especially multiple teeth. Jawbone is preserved through the pressure and stimulus of chewing. When that is removed through tooth loss, the bone “resorbs” (reabsorbs) into the body.

In the first year after tooth extraction 25% of jaw bone is lost, and this bone loss continues on. The loss of the ridge bone brings your chin closer to the nose, causing your jaw to jut out and your nose appears to stick out further because your upper lip has puckered in. Deep wrinkles appear around the mouth and the cheeks develop “jowls”— sagging skin. This facial collapse can appear to age you by many years. Dentures or partials can have a huge impact on your appearance giving you the smile of your dreams and greatly reducing facial wrinkles. Dentures if made properly can make you look your age or sometimes even younger. Even know dentures have many positive oral and esthetic impacts stopping jaw-bone loss is not one of them.

Preventing Bone Loss

Jaw bone loss can be prevented by giving the jawbone a replacement tooth with a root that can exert the same or similar pressure as natural teeth. This is done immediately after extraction by replacing teeth with full mouth dental implants, or by using a fixed implant-supported bridge or denture.

A single-tooth implant or a dental bridge with three to four teeth supported by two implants provide a chewing power of 99% of natural bite force. A denture secured with dental implants, such as our Same Day Teeth procedure, provides about 70% to 80% of normal biting force and helps considerably in preventing bone loss.

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