We naturally lose bone density as we age. This can make our bones more fragile. Weakening bones is one reason why it’s concerning if an elderly person falls since they’re more vulnerable to bone fractures. Bone loss can occur anywhere in the body, including in the jawbone. Your lower jaw is called the mandible, and your upper jaw is called the maxilla.
Bacteria from gum disease can cause serious infection that erodes bone tissue. Tobacco use also causes a high turnover of bone cells, resulting in degeneration.
Missing teeth will also cause bone loss. This is because our teeth are doing more than helping us chewing and making up our smile. The roots of our teeth actually stimulate our jawbone, which helps to keep it healthy and strong. If you lose a permanent tooth and don’t replace it, you’re missing out on jawbone stimulation in that area and the bone can start to disintegrate.
Jawbone loss can cause your teeth to shift, your cheeks to look sunken, and the development of temporomandibular joint disorder. It will also make it harder to perform everyday activities like speaking and eating, which can negatively affect your nutrition and mental health.
If you’re dealing with jawbone loss, a dentist can provide a treatment called bone grafting, which is when bone material is used to replace what’s missing in your jaw. For example, if you want to get dental implants and don’t have a sufficient amount of jawbone for the procedure to be successful, you may be required to get a bone graft first.
At Advanced Dentistry of Nevada, we provide bone grafting as part of our comprehensive dental services. Please contact our office today to learn more about how this procedure might benefit you!