Bone loss around teeth is a serious problem that can lead to oral health complications. It occurs when the bone surrounding and supporting your teeth begins to deteriorate due to periodontal disease or trauma. As the bone continues to break down, it weakens the structure that supports your teeth, leading to tooth mobility and even complete tooth loss if left untreated. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of bone loss around teeth as well as what treatments are available for restoring lost bone density and preventing further deterioration of your oral health.
Causes of Bone Loss Around Teeth
The most common cause of bone loss around teeth is periodontal disease, which is an infection that affects the gums and tooth-supporting tissues. Periodontal disease usually occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene, which allows plaque buildup on your teeth.
Dental plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms along the gum line. If it isn’t removed regularly through brushing and flossing, the bacteria can cause damage to the gums and bone surrounding your teeth.
Periodontitis is an advanced stage of periodontal disease that involves the breakdown of bone-supporting teeth. As the infection progresses, it can lead to loosening of teeth and eventual tooth loss due to jawbone destruction. You can read more about periodontal disease stages.
Other Causes & Risk Factors
In addition to periodontal disease, there are other causes of bone loss around teeth. These include:
- Trauma due to an injury or accident
- Teeth grinding and clenching
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Certain medications, such as antibiotics or steroids, which can affect the health of your jawbone
- Poor nutrition, which can lead to a decrease in bone density
- Age, as older adults are more likely to lose bone around their teeth due to changes in hormone levels and other factors.
- Systemic conditions, such as diabetes, which can lead to a decrease in bone density
Symptoms of Bone Loss Around Teeth
The symptoms of bone loss around teeth vary depending on the severity and cause, but some common signs and symptoms include:
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Receding gums
- Teeth appear longer than usual
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
- Gums that appear red, swollen, or tender
- Dental abscess
- Painful eating or chewing
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down.
- Sunken appearance due to bone loss.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see a dentist as soon as possible to determine the cause and seek treatment. Early diagnosis and intervention can help prevent further damage and tooth loss.
What are The Consequences of Bone Loss Around Teeth?
Bone loss around teeth can have serious consequences if not treated promptly. It can lead to tooth loss, which can affect speech, eating, and one’s overall quality of life. Also, tooth and bone loss can lead to changes in the shape of the face, making it look older and more sunken.
Additionally, dental implants are not possible if there is not enough bone in the jaw to support them. Bone grafts may be an option in some cases, but this can be a lengthy and expensive process. Therefore, seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid these consequences.
Treatment Options for Bone Loss Around Teeth
Depending on the cause and severity of your bone loss, several treatments are available for restoring lost bone. These include:
- Scaling and Root Planing: It is a deep cleaning procedure that involves removing plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from below the gum line and smoothing out the root surfaces of the teeth.
- Flap Surgery: This procedure involves raising gums away from teeth and bone for more efficient cleaning.
- Bone Grafting: If the bone loss around teeth is severe, a bone graft may be necessary. The procedure involves raising a flap, cleaning and preparing the area, and then placing bone graft material to help stimulate new bone growth.
- Antibiotics: Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help fight infection.
- Nightguard: If clenching or grinding teeth is a contributing factor to your jawbone loss, a nightguard can be made to protect the teeth and jaw from further damage.
- Tooth extraction: In extreme cases, a tooth may need to be extracted due to extensive bone loss.
It is important to note that in order to ensure successful treatment outcomes, it is essential to practice good oral hygiene at home and visit your dentist for regular check-ups.
How To Prevent Bone Loss Around Teeth?
The best way to prevent bone loss around teeth is to practice good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing twice a day and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups.
Additionally, quitting smoking can help reduce the risk of periodontal disease, which is a major cause of bone loss around teeth.
Finally, eat a balanced diet that includes foods high in calcium and other vitamins and minerals to ensure optimal oral health.
Bone loss around teeth is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss and various other oral health complications. Seek treatment right away if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of jawbone loss, such as loose or shifting teeth, receding gums, and changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down.
Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent further damage and tooth loss. The treatment options vary depending on the severity of the bone loss but may include scaling and root planing, bone grafting, antibiotics, and flap surgery.
Take the necessary steps to prevent bone loss in the first place, such as practicing good oral hygiene habits and visiting your dentist regularly for checkups.