Preventing Jaw Bone Loss
Jaw bone loss might not be the most common problem in the world, but it is a very serious one that needs to be addressed when it rears its ugly head. It can dramatically affect your quality of life in more ways than one.
But not many people know about jaw bone loss. It isn’t something you often hear about through the grapevine, so many people aren’t familiar with how to prevent it or what happens if you experience jaw bone loss.
So today, we’re going to clear the air about jaw bone loss. By the end of this short article, you’ll know all you need to know about jaw bone loss and, more importantly, what you can do to help prevent it.
What Is Jaw Bone Loss?
Jaw bone loss occurs when the bone in your jaw starts to weaken and deteriorate due to a lack of stimulation in the gums and muscles surrounding the jaw. It’s essentially the atrophy of the jaw muscles, which results in a structural weakening of the jawbone over time.
Jaw bone loss does not happen all at once. It’s a progressive condition that gets worse if left untreated. It results from letting certain dental health conditions go unchecked for long periods of time.
What Causes Jaw Bone Loss?
Jaw bone loss is caused by a few different things. Again, it’s the result of weakened jaw bone muscles, but that weakness or atrophy can come from several different sources. We’re going to focus on the two main culprits.
The first main cause is tooth loss. Your teeth, your gums, your muscles, and your jawbone are all connected and part of a cohesive system. If one part fails or leaves, the other parts suffer. When you lose a tooth, the gum, muscles, and bone are no longer stimulated and strengthened by chewing, which can lead to atrophy and, eventually, bone loss.
The other big cause, and probably the most common, is gum disease. When your gums become infected or diseased, it’s very easy for the inflammation to spread into the jaw. When this happens, the bone can be destroyed.
What Are the Risks of Jaw Bone Loss?
As you can imagine, jaw bone loss is not a walk in the park. There are some serious conditions that it can result in. First of all, you’ll likely experience some jaw pain. Bone decay and a weak jaw will hurt during chewing and other activities that utilize the jaw muscles and structure.
But it doesn’t stop there. This bone and muscle atrophy can affect other parts of the face. If certain parts of the face aren’t supported like they used to be, it can result in a “sinking” appearance in the face.
Jaw bone loss can also lead to receding gums and weakened teeth, and it can even make you lose more teeth.
How Can You Prevent Jaw Bone Loss?
Bone loss is best avoided, especially since it’s not something your body can correct or reverse on its own. But how can you prevent it? Let’s take a closer look.
Get Your Gum Disease Treated
The first step in treating gum disease is preventing it in the first place. So make sure that you brush and floss twice a day, practice good oral hygiene, and see your dentist for regular cleaning and checkups.
But if you have the misfortune of getting gum disease, it’s incredibly important that you get it treated. Gum disease is essentially when plaque buildup grows on the teeth, aggravates the gums, and bacteria infect the gums.
The treatment for this is professional cleaning. Once the plaque and buildup are gone, your gums may heal on their own.
Find a Solution for Missing Teeth
If you have lost teeth and have never had them replaced, you are at a higher risk of developing jaw bone loss. Once again, if your gum and jawbone are not stimulated by chewing, they can atrophy, so it is important to have teeth replaced.
The ones most at risk for developing jaw bone loss are people who have lost all of their teeth. Even with normal dentures, your jawbone might not be getting the stimulation it needs.
If that sounds familiar, you may want to consider anchored dentures. Renew’s anchored dentures utilize dental implants to anchor the dentures to your gums. With a simple attachment, you can insert and remove your dentures with ease. Renew is the only provider of the innovative SureSNAP Stabilization System, which keeps dentures stable and secure so you can feel confident in your smile.
Not only does this system make for a secure denture and easy cleaning, but the dental implants also fill that space in your gums where your teeth were. This allows your jaw to get the stimulation and strengthening that it needs. This can help to protect the health of your jaw, face muscles, and more.
Can Jaw Bone Loss Be Corrected?
Unfortunately, once jaw bone loss has occurred, there is nothing your body can naturally do to correct it. However, some medical treatments exist that can reverse some of the damage.
Jaw bone grafts are the only real way to remedy this. This process essentially uses transplanted bone to repair the structure of the jaw and repair the damaged bone. While this process is effective, it is quite expensive, meaning it isn’t necessarily accessible to everybody.
The best way, by far, to correct jaw bone loss is to prevent it before it even begins. So follow the steps above to maintain the health of your teeth, gums, muscles, and jawbone.
Jaw Bone Loss: The Bottom Line
If you’re worried about jaw bone loss, there are practical steps that you can take to help keep this problem out of your life. Maintain proper oral hygiene, see a dentist regularly, and find a solution for teeth loss as soon as you can.
For more information about tooth loss solutions to get you the smile that you deserve, visit Renew.
Dental bone loss | American Academy of Medical Orthodontics
Gum (Periodontal) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention | Cleveland Clinic
What is bone atrophy? | International Congress of Oral Implantologists