What causes bone loss?

The most common cause of bone loss is tooth loss left unreplaced, especially multiple teeth. Jawbone is preserved through the pressure and stimulus of chewing. When that is removed through tooth loss, the bone “resorbs” (reabsorbs) into the body. In the first year after tooth extraction 25% of bone is lost, and this bone loss continues on.

Bone loss.

Bone loss occurs in the bone surrounding and supporting the tooth, known as alveolar bone. Alveolar bone forms the ridges in which the teeth are embedded. These ridges atrophy both vertically and horizontally.

Replacing teeth with full or partial dentures doesn’t solve the problem as the dentures exert a very small amount of chewing pressure on the bone compared to natural teeth, as low as 10% or less.

Removal of the molars in the upper jaw can cause additional resorption of the bone due to expansion of the sinus cavity. With no teeth in place, the air pressure in the sinus cavity can cause resorption of the bone lining the sinuses.

Preventing bone loss.

Bone loss can be prevented by giving the jawbone a replacement tooth with a root that can exert the same or similar pressure as natural teeth. This is done immediately after extraction by replacing single teeth with dental implants, or by using a fixed implant-supported bridge or denture.

A single-tooth implant or a dental bridge with three to four teeth supported by two implants provide a chewing power of 99% of natural bite force. A denture secured with dental implants, such as our Teeth in One Day procedure, provides about 70% to 80% of normal biting force and helps considerably in preventing bone loss.