Bone Loss - The Dentist

Missing Teeth and Gum Disease are the Main Causes of Bone Loss

How Does Bone Loss Happen?

Resorption, or shrinking of the bone in the jaws, is a side-effect of two major dental factors: gum disease and tooth loss. When infection is left untreated or teeth are lost due to extraction, disease or any other reason, the bone tends to become weaker and smaller. This causes changes in your facial appearance, jeopardizes the stability of remaining teeth and makes it more difficult for dental implants to be placed.

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Dental Treatments for Bone Loss

Dr. Carlos Medina has years of experience helping our patients with missing teeth and bone loss. In fact, one of the procedures that we frequently provide alongside of dental implants is bone grafting. Bone grafting adds back essential bone structure and encourages new bone growth in areas around compromised teeth or where new dental implants are going to be placed. When successful, the bone becomes strengthened in order to permanently support implants and stabilize the teeth adjacent to the graft.

Understanding Bone Loss

When a tooth is extracted and not replaced right away with a dental implant, the remaining bone will start to pull back and resorb. While this may not seem significant, it causes enough resorption that the adjacent teeth can be compromised as well. Additionally, advanced periodontitis (gum disease) causes bone loss due to active infection in the soft tissues and ligaments surrounding the teeth. Gradually, teeth become mobile due to the lack of support and may fall out or need to be extracted.

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Symptoms of Gum Disease

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Bad breath
  • Removable, secured overdentures
  • Receding gumlines
  • Loose teeth
  • Heavy tartar buildup

Can Bone Loss be Reversed?

Unfortunately, no. While Dr. Medina can provide therapies to stop bone loss from getting worse, your body will not re-grow extensive amounts of bone on its own to repair the area of damage. However, placing a bone graft in the area of resorption can help limited amounts of new bone to form, providing a stable foundation for dental implants or Zygoma implants. In turn, implants themselves help to stimulate new bone formation and integration, further strengthening the area to preserve your facial profile and integrity of your overall bite. Together, grafts and implants offer a positive outcome for our patients with extensive tooth and bone loss, even if they’ve previously been told that they were not a candidate for dental implants.

You Can Reverse Bone Loss!