Jaw bone loss is a very common side effect of tooth removal or tooth loss. If you are concerned about missing teeth in Pittsburgh, PA, Dr. Michael C. Stypula is a dedicated periodontist who can help.

What Leads to Jaw bone Loss?

- Missing teeth: Tooth roots apply pressure to the jaw bone, signifying that bone growth in that area is necessary. Once a tooth is extracted or tooth loss occurs, the bone structure underneath is no longer stimulated and progressively weakens.

- Gum Disease: A major cause of loss of bone density in the jaw is gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that eat away at the tissue and gradually the bone that supports the teeth. The tissue between the gums and the base of the teeth become pockets of bacterial infections that weaken and eat away at the teeth.

- Gum Recession: Gum recession is another cause of bone loss. Although it isn’t painful, most people tend to underestimate its effects. If left untreated, receding gums can lead to loose teeth and leave patients more susceptible to gum disease and tooth loss.

What About Dental Bridges and Dentures?

Jaw bone loss is not an immediate concern to most people, since they can’t really measure it themselves. In fact, most people subscribe to the false belief that covering missing teeth with bridges and dentures solves this issue.

The truth, however, is that though bridges and dentures provide a functional and esthetic replacement for your missing tooth/teeth, they have no effect on the rate of jaw bone loss. This is because the healthy pressure is displaced to the gums or the adjoining teeth rather than in the affected area itself.

The Solution: Bone Grafting and Dental Implants

If you have jaw bone loss, you may notice a sunken appearance in your facial structure and loosening teeth. It may be time to speak with a periodontist like Dr. Stephen Stypula. A skilled periodontist can offer bone grafting treatments to add new, healthy support to your jaw bone. This treatment will protect your remaining teeth from erosion and prepare the jaw for eventual dental implant placement, offering a healthier mouth, more comfortable lifestyle, and a beautiful smile. If you have missing teeth, replacing them with dental implants will ensure your jaw bone health stays healthy for decades.

To learn more about your options, give us a call and schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Stypula and our team.