Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Specialists in Dental Implants
What Does the Jaw Resorb and How Can We Help Prevent It?
Posted on 2/22/2021 by Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
While bones are generally strong and hard, they are constantly changing, which makes them vulnerable to deterioration just like other living cells and tissues in your body. Your jawbone relies on stimulation from chewing to stay strong and healthy, so when teeth are missing, your jaw will start to deteriorate and resorb into your body. Read on to learn more about the resorption process.
What Causes Jaw Resorption?
When you chew and bite, your teeth stimulate your jawbone to keep producing cells called osteoblasts, which are responsible for building and strengthening bone. If you are missing teeth due to gum disease, tooth decay, injury, or aging, nothing is stimulating your jaw in these spots. Instead, your body begins producing cells called osteoclasts, which break down your jawbone. This deterioration occurs because your bones contain important minerals like calcium; when calcium is seen as no longer being needed in your jawbone, your body seeks to resorb it into your bloodstream so it can function elsewhere.
Consequences of Jawbone Resorption
Jawbone resorption occurs at a greater rate than bone regeneration. As your jaw resorbs and deteriorates, your remaining teeth can shift and loosen, and you are likely to lose more teeth. Jawbone deterioration also leads to a sunken facial appearance and can make eating and speaking more difficult. If you wear dentures, the process of jawbone deterioration affects the fit of your dentures, meaning that you will most likely need to replace them more frequently. Finally, jaw resorption also makes the process for restoring missing teeth with dental implants more invasive and lengthier, as you would require bone grafting surgery first to ensure sufficient jawbone density to support the dental implants.
Our staff can determine the appropriate course of treatment if your jaw has begun the resorption process. Your treatment could include a combination of bone grafting, implant placement, or denture adjustments, depending on your unique case. Call us today to learn more.