Bone loss is a common result of tooth loss and chronic gum disease. Bone loss around teeth can affect anyone but is more common in older people. It can affect the underlying jawbone, which contains the sockets of the teeth, as well as the roots and tissue that connects the tooth to the socket. It occurs in the bone surrounding and supporting the tooth.
When an adult suffers from tooth loss or gum disease, the jawbone often shrinks around it, making the treatment more complex. Bone grafting may be needed to correct the problem. However, there are steps you can take to reverse bone loss. Ask your dentist about bone loss if you have noticed any indentation around a missing tooth. For help finding a local dental professional, search for a dentist near you.
Common Symptoms Of Bone Loss
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease or have a missing tooth, you may notice bone loss, which may look like an indent in your jaw where the healthy tooth used to be. If the bone loss is due to advanced gum disease, bone loss may begin with the following symptoms:
The best way to determine if you are suffering from bone loss is by making an appointment with your dentist. They can then review your symptoms, make an accurate diagnosis and give you their recommended treatment plan.
What Causes Bone Loss?
Various factors contribute to bone loss: it could be caused by untreated gum disease, which can spread inflammation below the gumline to the bones that support the structure of the teeth or losing a tooth.
Other causes include osteoporosis, tooth infections, certain medications and bacterial infections from implants.
How Can I Stop And Prevent Bone Loss?
Having healthy teeth and gums play a pivotal role in having a healthy jaw. There are simple ways to protect your teeth and gums that will help stop bone loss and prevent it from getting any worse:
- Floss before brushing and brush twice a day
- See your dentist every six months for regular cleanings or scaling and root planing, if necessary.
Preventative dental care is extremely important, but some bone loss may be unavoidable if a tooth is lost due to injury or decay. If the goal is to replace a missing tooth, bone grafting may be necessary to best fit a dental implant. A dental implant will not fit correctly in the jaw if there is a lack of bone, which means grafting is the best option. Putting a dental implant in place of a missing tooth will also promote bone growth, which will prevent bone loss.
Who Treats Bone Loss?
If you suffer from bone loss, one of our general dentists can teach you an essential oral health routine, which will work as a preventative measure to slow bone loss. The general dentist can diagnose your bone loss and refer you to a periodontist, who can also treat gum disease, perform a bone grafting surgical procedure, and insert a dental implant into the lost tooth area. If you have severe gum disease, your dentist may recommend you see a periodontist who specializes in dental bone and soft tissue diseases.