Patients with missing teeth may suffer bone loss in their jaw if they do not seek tooth replacement treatment from their dentist. Jawbone deterioration can lead to the appearance of facial sagging and may cause remaining teeth to shift out of place.
Rebuilding structure in the jaw is not always straightforward. Patients should seek an evaluation with their dentist to determine the extent of this damage and which treatment option will work for their unique case. Read on to learn more about bone loss in the jaw and how your dentist can resolve this issue.
Why Have I Lost Jawbone Structure?
In healthy dental patients, their teeth extend below the gum line into roots that reach the jaw. The tooth root’s presence stimulates the bone in the jaw, keeping it strong and stable.
When patients lose one or more teeth, the jaw no longer receives stimulation from the tooth root. It begins to deteriorate in its absence, which can lead to a number of oral health complications. The appearance of the face and smile as well as the oral capabilities could weaken as time passes without treatment.
This degenerative process will not stop without intervention from a dentist. If you have missing teeth, talk to your dentist as soon as possible to find a way to restore your smile and preserve your jawbone.
Can My Jawbone Regrow Naturally?
Deteriorated jawbone will not regrow on its own. In some cases, you can make lifestyle changes that may encourage regeneration of jawbone that has been lost after tooth loss.
These may include sticking to a healthy and nutritious diet and avoiding alcohol and tobacco products. Good oral hygiene will keep your mouth clean, giving you the ideal environment to promote bone growth in your jaw.
Dentists often recommend dental implants to replace missing teeth and protect the jaw. The anchors of the implant are surgically placed into the jaw, serving as substitutes for the absent tooth root.
This provides stimulation to the area once again, stopping bone from deteriorating. It can also encourage bone to regrow.
What If My Jaw Is Not Stable Enough for Dental Implants?
In order to receive dental implants, you will need enough structure in your jaw to support the anchors. If too much bone has already deteriorated, you might not be able to successfully sustain the implant.
This can make it difficult to regrow bone that has been lost in the jaw. However, patients who have suffered bone loss but still would like dental implants can ask their dentist about a bone graft.
With this surgery, a dentist will take either synthetic or organic material and secure it to the patient’s jawbone. This constructs a more stable structure in the jaw.
Once it heals, which often takes a few weeks, the jaw could be strong enough to support a dental implant. Your dentist can evaluate the current structure of your jaw using x-ray imaging.