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.
The Consequences of Bone Loss
This type of continual bone loss carries aesthetic and functional consequences. Since gum tissue decreases as bone decreases, the simple acts of chewing and speaking become significantly more difficult. The jawbone itself also starts to melt away, which causes the lower portion of the face to partially collapse. These impacts of tooth loss become more pronounced over time until the face’s entire appearance has been totally altered.
Prevent Bone Loss Early
The consequences of bone loss are frightening, but the good news is that they can be easily avoided with proper dental care. If you still have enough healthy bone remaining, you can receive implants that stimulate bone growth and strength just like real teeth. It’s also possible to supplement implants with stem cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections that deliver growth factors and bone proteins to rebuild natural tissues. If you don’t have enough healthy bone, but still want to take advantage of dental implants to prevent bone loss, you can undergo bone grafting and stem cell/PRP therapy to regain enough bone for implants.
Of course, only a skilled and experienced prosthodontist can provide all of these dental services in order to help you maintain a full and beautiful smile for the rest of your life. Dr. Tadros at Dental Implant Solutionz in Largo, Florida is a highly trained professional who knows exactly how to help you prevent bone loss and regain a smile you want to show off. Call (727) 202-4926 to make your first appointment today!