When you experience tooth loss, the primary consequences on your mind are most likely the impacts to your ability to chew, smile, and speak without challenges. There is no doubt that losing one or more teeth causes psychological and functional issues, but there is also a hidden consequence of tooth loss: subsequent bone loss.
Why Does Tooth Loss Cause Bone Loss?
The jawbone requires stimulation in order to maintain its form and density. The teeth play a primary role in providing this vital stimulation. Every time the teeth make contact with each other, small stresses are sent down into the bone to stimulate rebuilding and strength. When you lose a tooth or a number of teeth, the bone loses its source of stimulation. This leads to a significant decrease in the width, height, and volume of the bone. Believe it or not, the bone suffers a full 25 percent decrease in width during the first year alone, and a 4 millimeter decrease in height after a few years. [Read more…]