Dental Bone Loss Throughout the world, dental bone loss is a common occurrence. The loss of bone essentially comes from tooth loss, so if left untreated, the bone will deteriorate until nothing is left. It takes each component of the jaw to work together for the system to function correctly. While the jaw bone is what holds everything together, the alveolar bone is what creates a space for the teeth to nest within the soft structure of the gums. Therefore, the alveolar bone is an essential part of our dental make-up and, if not treated correctly, can cause disaster and inevitable bone loss. Your body cannot regenerate bone once it has been lost. In this case, dental implants will no longer be an option unless an oral surgeon or periodontist performs a bone graft. What is causing my bone loss? 1. Tooth Extraction A tooth extraction is often necessary when a tooth is broken or decaying, preventing further damage to the surrounding teeth. However, if the tooth is removed and an implant restoration is not used promptly, the bone in that area will begin to break down and deteriorate. Although your dentist will always try to avoid extractions, in some cases this is not possible. After the tooth or teeth are extracted, make sure there is a restorative plan. 2. Denture or Bridge Restorations To maintain bone density and prevent bone decay, your jaw bone requires direct stimulation. Your jaw bone will begin to deteriorate as soon as your teeth fall out or are extracted since they are not able to stimulate it anymore. In contrast to dental implants, dentures adhere to the gum line and are not permanently fixed. As a result of lack of stimulation, the bone deteriorates over time, eventually resulting in a new set of dentures being necessary. A dental bridge is no different. In contrast to dentures, a bridge consists of at least three teeth, with the middle covering the extraction site. The teeth on either end of the bridge provide stimulation, whereas those on the middle do not, resulting in bone loss that eventually affects the teeth on either side. 3. Dental Trauma Teeth that have been traumatized may not be able to stimulate your jaw bone as they should. There can be a variety of sports-related injuries that lead to tooth fractures, chipped or cracked teeth, and severe fractures of the jaw bone. Mouth guards can help you avoid sports-related injuries in a high-contact sport. 4. Gum Disease The soft tissues and bone structures supporting your teeth are damaged by severe gum infections such as gingivitis or periodontitis. Dental plaque is primarily responsible for gingivitis, which causes tooth decay. By brushing and flossing daily, plaque can be prevented, but unattended plaque can harden into tartar, a rough, porous substance. As a result, the gums may become inflamed, red, swollen, or bleed easily, either above or below the gum line. Without treatment, gingivitis will progress to periodontitis, which destroys the bone and gum tissue that support the teeth. When the bone is lost, neighboring teeth become loose and fall out, resulting in a chain reaction. The loss of bone in the gums is a serious problem that should not be ignored. Talk to your periodontist about all of your options if you notice any signs of possible bone loss.