Are you aware of jaw bone resorption as a result of tooth loss?
If you have had a tooth extracted or lost a tooth and didn’t have it replaced, you could be losing density in your jaw bone. This is because there is no longer a tooth root stimulating the bone and your body starts to reabsorb it. Socket preservation and dental implants can protect your jaw, and the dental specialists at Bentz Dental Implant and Prosthodontic Center have the experience and skill to help fix missing teeth and prevent future jaw bone resorption.
Common Reasons For Tooth Loss
More than 120 million people in the US are missing at least one tooth, so it is quite a common problem. There are many reasons why people need tooth extraction or lose teeth. Here are some of the main ones.
Broken or Damaged Teeth
If you are in an accident or if you break a tooth by biting down on something hard, that tooth may need to be removed. After your tooth extraction, you can have a dental implant put in to restore the function of your teeth, but first you will need socket preservation to ensure that you don’t experience jaw bone resorption because of the missing tooth.
It’s very common for people to have teeth fall out or break because of cavities caused by tooth decay. Tooth decay is bacteria that starts to eat through the enamel of your tooth when you don’t brush and floss effectively. Over time, that bacteria will eat through your enamel and all the way through your tooth until it gets to the pulp of your tooth. The hole that the decay creates as it travels through your tooth can cause teeth to break, fall out, or need to be extracted.
Periodontal disease can also cause tooth loss. Periodontal disease is a more advanced stage of gum disease and occurs when bacteria irritates your gums, which react by pulling away from your teeth, forming pockets. Unfortunately, these pockets just give bacteria an ideal home to collect and grow in, which causes more plaque and more irritation. Periodontal disease is irreversible, and if not treated by a dental professional, will eventually lead to loss of your tooth.
If your teeth are very crowded your dentist may need to remove teeth in order to relieve the crowding and allow you to bite, chew, and speak normally. Your dentist may also recommend removing teeth if you’re undergoing a smile makeover so your teeth have room to shift into the ideal position. Straighter teeth also have the benefit of being easier to clean and less susceptible to cavities and tooth decay.
What happens to your jaw when a tooth is missing?
When you bite and chew with your natural teeth, these motions send signals to your body to send cells (called osteoblasts) to build up your jawbone and teeth. When there is no tooth in the socket and no activity, your body starts to reabsorb that bone. Jaw bone resorption may cause changes, such as:
- Differences in your bite.
- A change in your facial structure (giving you a “sunken in” look).
- Difficulty chewing.
- Shifting or loosening of your teeth.
- Lips that look like they are sinking inward.
- Deep wrinkles or loose skin around your mouth.
- Headaches, facial pain, and jaw pain.
- Difficulty forming words or speaking.
- Changes in the way your dentures fit.
If you are starting to see any of these symptoms of jaw loss, you should immediately talk with your dentist about socket preservation and dental implants to see how you can stop further damage.
What is socket preservation?
Socket preservation is a dental procedure that can protect your jaw bone or, in some cases, replace missing jaw bone. If your jaw bone loss isn’t too severe, the dentist can place a collagen plug where the tooth was until a dental implant can be inserted. Putting in a collagen plug will preserve your natural bite and chewing pattern, which will signal your body to continue building up bone in that area.
If you have lost a significant amount of bone already, you may need a bone graft. In that case, an oral surgeon would graft a small amount of bone onto your jaw bone, place a collagen layer over it, and suture your gum. The bone will replace the bone that you have already lost and preserve the structure of the bone until you are ready to have an implant placed..
How do dental implants help?
A dental implant is a replacement for your natural tooth that is surgically installed into your jaw bone. It is made up of a titanium post, which is the part inserted into the bone, and a natural-looking crown. The implant’s post replicates the role of your tooth root, stimulating your jaw bone, and signaling to your body to maintain the density of the bone. Your body will continue to build up the jaw bone and keep it strong and healthy.
Jaw bone preservation is one of the biggest benefits of dental implants, but it’s not the only benefit. Dental implants function just like natural teeth, so when you have an implant, you can chew, bite, and speak naturally again. And since implants look like natural teeth, you will have a healthy, attractive smile again, with no gaps.
If you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth, and you want to find the best dental implant dentist in Philadelphia, book an appointment with dental experts at Bentz Dental Implant and Prosthetic Center today. We can help you prevent bone loss from missing teeth and restore your smile.