What causes jawbone loss and deterioration?

Several factors may contribute to jawbone loss and deterioration, which may require a bone graft. The following are common reasons we see at Cannon Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery that may result in bone loss in Tulsa, Oklahoma:

  • Tooth extraction – When a permanent tooth is lost and not replaced, the jawbone at that site often begins to deteriorate. The body no longer uses the jawbone to anchor the tooth, and the tooth no longer stimulates the jawbone through activities like chewing and biting. While bone loss rates vary for each person, most bone loss occurs within the first eighteen months following the extraction or loss of the tooth.
  • Dentures or bridges – If a denture or dental bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth, they do not directly stimulate the underlying bone because they sit on top of the gums. This allows bone loss to continue, sometimes eventually requiring a new restoration because the original no longer fits due to extensive bone loss.
  • Periodontal disease – When gum disease is not properly treated, the gum tissues and supporting bone may deteriorate. This leads to progressive bone loss that can result in the loosening and loss of teeth.
  • Misalignment – Tooth misalignment may lead to a situation where a tooth no longer has an opposing tooth structure, allowing the unopposed tooth to over-erupt. When a tooth over-erupts, the underlying bone may begin to deteriorate. Misalignment may also create abnormal physical forces that interfere with the teeth’s normal ability to chew. Without proper stimulation from biting and chewing, the jawbone may deteriorate.
  • Developmental deformities – Some birth defects (conditions or syndromes) involve missing portions of the teeth, jaw, facial bones, or skull. In these cases, Dr. Daniel Cannon may be able to perform a bone grafting treatment to restore bone function and growth.
  • Trauma – Trauma such as a knocked-out tooth, jaw fractures, or teeth with a history of trauma can lead to disruptions in bone stimulation. When the bone stimulation stops, the jawbone begins to deteriorate.
  • Sinus deficiencies – If molars are removed from the upper arch, air pressure from the maxillary sinus may cause resorption of the bone that once held the teeth in place. This results in the sinuses becoming enlarged, leaving insufficient structure for the placement of implants.
  • Tumors – Both benign and malignant tumors may necessitate the removal of part of the jawbone. A reconstructive bone graft is then needed to restore the function of the jaw.
  • Osteomyelitis – This is a type of bacterial infection in the bone and bone marrow of the jaw that leads to inflammation. The inflammation may cause a reduction of blood supply to the bone. Treatment for osteomyelitis often requires antibiotic treatment and removal of the affected bone.

Our oral surgeon is pleased to offer a number of bone grafting procedures in order to restore your jawbone, no matter the reason. To learn more, please contact our office today.