Jaw Bone Health – Oral Health & Jaw Bone Disease
Jaw bone health can be affected by dental health and structure such that tooth loss and the conditions which cause it are often contributing factors to jawbone deterioration or loss. Jawbone tissue, like any other bone tissue, requires use to be in good health. The teeth create a stimulus for the jawbone through biting and chewing. When the alveolar bone (jawbone), which anchors the teeth, is unstimulated, it begins to resorb, or break down. This deterioration of jawbone can cause problems with not only appearance, but overall health.
Loss of Jaw Bone Density
Loss of jawbone can result in:
- Dental problems with remaining teeth, such as misalignment, loosening, and additional loss of teeth
- Facial feature distortion/facial profile collapse
- Speech problems
- Eating difficulty
- TMJ disorders (temporomandibular joint) pain
- Sinus expansion
- Facial pain
- Problems with lip support
- Skin puckering or wrinkling around the mouth
Causes of Jawbone Loss or Deterioration
Jawbone loss or deterioration will often require a bone grafting procedure in order to restore functionality and appearance.
Common causes of jawbone loss include:
- Tooth loss or extraction: Without the natural tooth embedded in the jawbone, lack of stimulation will result in bone loss, usually within 18 months and continuing on forward.
- Bridgework or dentures: In the same way as an extraction, unanchored dentures provide no direct stimulation because they sit on top of the gums. Conversely, bone loss can eventually become so severe that the dentures cannot stay in place.
- Periodontal disease: Ongoing gum infections can destroy the underlying alveolar bone.
- Jaw misalignment: When teeth and jaw are misaligned, some teeth may not touch where they are meant to. An unopposed tooth can over-erupt and deteriorate the jawbone.
- Jaw or tooth trauma: Traumatic injury in which a tooth is broken or knocked out or the jaw is fractured can stop bone stimulation.
- Osteoporosis: This condition in which the bones lose density, thus are more susceptible to fracture, can affect the jawbone.
Jaw Bone Health Maintenance
Just as the jawbone relies on healthy teeth to maintain functionality, the teeth must have a healthy jawbone in order to stay strong and secured in position. If the jawbone deteriorates, teeth can loosen and fall out.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for optimal bone health should include:
- Well-balanced diet rich in Vitamin D and calcium
- No smoking and limited alcohol use
- Regular exercise
If you are experiencing loose teeth, ill-fitting dentures, detached or receding gums, or any other symptoms of a jawbone health problem, contact our office for an evaluation.
To arrange a consultation with a doctor at Pacific Oral Surgery, please submit an online appointment request or call one of our Pacific Oral Surgery offices located in Ventura, Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley.