How To Slow Down Bone Loss In Teeth

How To Slow Down Bone Loss In Teeth

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Bone loss, or bone resorption, and bone regeneration are some of the amazing things that our bodies can normally do. However, due to tooth extraction, orthodontic adjustments, and diseases, our jawbones no longer receive stimulation for them to be reinforced which leads to bone loss. Learn how to slow down bone loss in teeth to keep your gums and jaws still suitable for any tooth-replacement solution.

As a trusted dentist in Florissant, Soft Touch Dental aims to spread awareness about the importance of replacing your missing teeth and practicing good oral care to prevent bone loss. We will share how bone loss happens and how you can slow it down through oral treatments and lifestyle changes. 

How does bone loss or bone resorption occur in teeth?

Our bones have their messaging signals called osseointegration, where osteoblasts pick up signals from stimulation through our bodily movements. As for our jaws, the stimulation comes from the pressure placed on our teeth whenever we chew, bite, or talk. 

When the osteoblasts receive the stimuli, they will continue to rebuild and strengthen our jawbones. However, when we lose a natural tooth, the stimulation stops, and the body thinks that the bones that hold our teeth are no longer needed. So, osteoclasts break down the bones and recycle the old bone cells to use in other parts of our body. 

Symptoms of bone loss in teeth

Bone loss in teeth happens gradually and may manifest through the following symptoms:

  • Ill-fitted dentures
  • Shifting teeth
  • Facial structure collapse
  • Wrinkles in the mouth area
  • Loose teeth
  • Lips sinking inward
  • Discomfort when chewing

Causes of bone loss in teeth

Causes of bone loss in teeth

Tooth loss is one of the primary triggers of bone resorption. However, some conditions also make bone resorption a risk factor. These include:

  • Periodontal disease: The bacteria eat away the jawbone and periodontal ligaments that hold the teeth in patients with advanced periodontal disease. As the damage continues to spread, the bacteria in plaque seated in periodontal pockets can loosen the teeth, or worse, lead to tooth loss.

    On top of the bone damage on the jawbones, tooth loss would be another cause for bone resorption in the affected area. 
  • Osteoporosis: Another cause of rapid bone loss in the jaws is osteoporosis. It is a condition where the bones get brittle due to age and low calcium intake.  Its impact is systemic and may usually affect the jawbones. 
  • Facial injury: Trauma and irritation on the facial bone structure may result in changes to the activity of bone cells responsible for the breakdown and rebuilding of bones. 

The impact of bone resorption on your oral and overall health

In its early stages, the effects of bone resorption can be hardly noticeable. However, as it progresses, patients may lose their chance for tooth replacement due to the lack of bone structure to hold the dental appliance. Without teeth to chew and bite food, your nutrition and speech can be greatly affected in the long run.

Bone loss can also significantly alter your appearance. Your facial muscles and skin will shrink, which may lead to wrinkles, and your lips will sink inwards. Generally, you will look older than your age.  

How to slow down bone loss in teeth

Bone loss is a natural part of aging. However, bone loss due to tooth loss, injury, and disease is a premature stage of bone resorption that we can prevent before it gets worse. Here are some tips on how to slow down bone loss in teeth:

Dental implants in Florissant, MO

Replace your missing teeth

Losing your tooth will make your body think that you no longer need the bones attached to it due to the lack of stimulation from chewing. Dental implants are the only tooth-replacement option that can help mimic the stimulation done by our natural tooth roots. A titanium post is placed below the gum line to help the bone cells reattach themselves to it and rebuild your jawbone.  

Rooting and scaling
Source: MouthHealthy.org

Gingivitis treatments 

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums and the first stage of gum disease. At this stage, gum disease is still reversible, and the immune system is not yet fully compromised. To prevent the progression of the damage, it’s crucial to remove plaque build-up in the gum line that causes the inflammation. 

For deep-seated plaque, your dentist may conduct a type of professional cleaning method called scaling and root planing. It is a procedure where the root surfaces below the gums are cleaned with a dental tool and polished to prevent the bacteria from getting stuck. 

Bone grafting

For patients with significant bone loss due to prolonged tooth loss, dentists recommend a procedure called bone grafting. It is a surgical procedure that replaces a bone to help the jaw regenerate new bone cells and make them suitable for tooth replacement treatments. Bone grafting is usually done in line with a dental implant procedure for patients with periodontal disease and other medical conditions. 

Lifestyle changes

According to a study, bone resorption is a shared condition of both osteoporosis and periodontal disease. They share the same risk factors, such as:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal change
  • Smoking
  • Calcium and vitamin D deficiency

Of all the risk factors, there are some that you can control, like smoking and vitamin deficiency. Avoid the perils of bone loss by trying to limit or stop smoking and get the vitamins that you need. We may never stop aging, but we can always make healthy choices to delay its effects on our bodies. 

Good oral hygiene

Brushing and flossing are the hallmarks of good oral health. Make them part of your daily routine to reduce your chance of developing periodontal disease and its effects like tooth and bone loss. 

Calcium-rich diet

Vitamin-rich diet

Nourish your bones with a vitamin-rich diet to help you maintain good bone health and prevent osteoporosis even when you age. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends the following foods and beverages for healthy bones:

  • Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
  • Sardines and salmon with bones
  • Spinach and other green leafy vegetables
  • Tomatoes and red peppers
  • Papaya, pineapples, bananas, and oranges

Prevent your jawbone from shrinking with Soft Touch Dental

Let your dentist help you maintain good bone health and prevent oral diseases that can lead to bone loss. Schedule an appointment today and be ahead of premature bone loss in teeth.

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