What Causes Tooth and Bone Loss?

by | Feb 10, 2023

Tooth loss is a common issue, with about 40 million Americans missing all of their natural teeth.[1] The combination of tooth and bone loss is common, particularly in older patients. This can make it more difficult to replace missing teeth. A variety of factors can contribute to these serious dental issues.

Common Reasons for Tooth Loss

Many dental issues can lead to tooth loss. Tooth decay is one of the most common. A severely decayed tooth may require extraction, as the tooth may not be strong enough to support a dental crown or other treatment options.

Gum disease can also lead to tooth loss. While the early stages of gum disease may not show serious symptoms, the advanced stages have further complications. As the bacterial infection spreads, it affects surrounding tissue and can result in tooth and bone loss. The teeth may become loose and eventually fall out.

Physical trauma is another common cause of tooth loss. Teeth that are knocked out, seriously cracked, or chipped can often be restored. However, if the damage is too severe, other treatment options may be necessary to replace missing teeth.

Several diseases and conditions are linked to a higher risk of tooth loss. For example, hypertension and diabetes are both risk factors for tooth loss. Osteoporosis can also contribute to both tooth and bone loss.

Conditions that Contribute to Jawbone Loss

Some patients trying to replace missing teeth find themselves unable to access some treatment options due to jawbone loss. Treatments such as dental implants rely on a strong jawbone to provide a foundation. Deterioration or weakening of the jawbone means that the foundation isn’t there.

Missing teeth lead to jawbone deterioration. Without the stimulation and pressure from tooth roots, the jawbone begins to lose its volume and strength. This is often a major issue in individuals who use dentures. While they make eating and speaking easier, they don’t prevent jawbone deterioration like dental implants.

Osteoporosis is another major cause of jawbone loss. An estimated 10 million Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis, predominantly women.[2] The condition reduces bone mass, causing a wide range of issues. It can also affect the jawbone, leading to both tooth and bone loss.

Treatment Options for Tooth and Bone Loss

Fortunately, Individuals with tooth and bone loss have access to a wide range of treatment options at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester. Dental implants provide an excellent solution to replace missing tooth or teeth as well as preserve the health of the jawbone.

Dental implants start with a titanium implant post that a periodontist carefully places in the jawbone. Once the post is fully integrated with the jawbone, a permanent crown is placed over the post and abutment, creating a permanent, natural-looking solution for a missing tooth.

Patients with bone loss may not be suitable for dental implant treatment. However, there are still options available in these cases. Bone grafting is a procedure that either transplants bone from one area to another or uses donor bone. It can be used to augment a deteriorated jawbone, making dental implant treatment possible.

Discover Your Treatment Options

If you have experienced tooth and bone loss, Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester is dedicated to providing care beyond your expectations. By using advanced techniques and technology, we can evaluate your individual case and determine whether our treatment options, including dental implants and periodontal surgery, are right for you. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation by calling 585-685-2005.



[1] https://www.prosthodontics.org/assets/1/7/ACP_Talking_points_for_Missing_Teeth_1-12-15.pdf

[2] https://health.gov/healthypeople/about/workgroups/osteoporosis-workgroup


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