After the loss of a tooth, no matter where it is in the jawbone, you inevitably lose bone too. And unfortunately, the more this bone loss progresses, the greater the effect on your facial structure. Many patients don't understand why bone loss occurs after tooth loss. But this is a natural process that can only be halted by replacing the tooth with a dental implant.
But why does bone loss occur in the aftermath of tooth loss and why replace it with a dental implant?
The lack of stimulation initiates bone loss
One of the reasons for bone loss following tooth loss is the lack of biting pressure where the missing tooth once was. When teeth are healthy and strong and you use them regularly for chewing, this signals the body to continue to replenish and strengthen the jawbone around those teeth. Thus, if you keep all your teeth for a lifetime, there will be little change to the jawbone.
Unfortunately, when you lose a tooth to dental decay or trauma, that part of your jawbone no longer receives stimulation from chewing. This signals to the body that the bone in that area of your mouth is no longer necessary. A process called resorption (bone reabsorption) then begins to take place.
Much of the bone in the area of tooth loss will resorb within a year and continue to resorb until the tooth is replaced. Your body will use the building blocks of that lost jawbone to bolster other areas of your body, but you will see some changes in your facial structure.
Bone loss causes your facial structure to change
Because your jawbone supports your facial muscles and skin with the help of your teeth, losing a tooth can lead to gradual changes in your facial appearance. For instance, you could see wrinkles begin to form where the tooth loss occurred. And if the tooth loss occurred in your cheek area, your cheek may begin to sink inwards. This can cause facial asymmetry if you do nothing to correct it.
Fortunately, you can halt bone loss with the help of dental implants.
A dental implant can stop bone loss and stimulate bone growth
Dental implants do much more than just replace your teeth. Perhaps more importantly, a dental implant can stimulate bone growth and thus help you to regain your former facial structure. But the longer you wait, the worse the bone resorption will be. That's why you need to act quickly if you want to replace a tooth and keep bone loss to a minimum.
Bone loss after tooth loss is a natural process that happens automatically after you lose a tooth. If you have lost a tooth, make an appointment with a dental implant dentistry and ask them about dental implants. With swift intervention, you can stop bone loss in its tracks and come away smiling.