Jaw and Gum Resorption
New Bedford, Falmouth, & Hyannis, MA
Tooth loss has many effects. One of the effects not as well-known as some of the others is just what tooth loss does to your jawbone and your gum tissue. Minimizing these effects is important for giving you a broader range of options when it comes to replacing those teeth. At Center for Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, we can help you to understand the impact of tooth loss on your jawbone and gums and just what can be done to protect these tissues.
Tooth Loss and Jaw Resorption
Your tooth roots play a very important role in your jawbone. They provide stimulation every single time that you chew. When you are missing teeth, the bone no longer receives that stimulation. Because of this, the bone is no longer perceived as important by the body. This results in the bone receiving fewer nutrients. Eventually, it begins to weaken and resorb, which causes the bone to shrink and change shape. This can occur whether you have lost teeth naturally or following a tooth extraction. Dentures can also contribute to jaw and gum resorption. While dentures replace your teeth, they do nothing to halt the bone loss process. They can even speed up the bone loss process if they do not fit properly.
How Jaw Resorption Affects the Gums
Tooth loss also impacts the condition of your jawbone. As your jawbone resorbs, your gum tissue also begins to shrink. When this happens, you are left with less gum tissue. A bridge or dental implant placed in an area where the gum tissue has resorbed becomes much more obvious, affecting the aesthetics of your replacement teeth.
Minimizing Jaw and Gum Resorption
If you need to have your teeth extracted, we can help to minimize jaw and gum resorption. Tooth socket grafting involves performing a bone graft immediately following the removal of your tooth. This graft is meant to fill in the empty socket, helping to preserve the shape and strength of your jawbone. As a result, your gums can also be protected. If you have been without teeth for a while, you may need a larger bone graft, such as ridge augmentation. Depending upon your situation, a soft tissue graft may also be needed to restore lost gum tissue.
Protecting Your Jawbone and Gums After Tooth Loss
One of the best ways to protect your jawbone, and your gum tissue, after tooth loss, is to have your teeth replaced with dental implants. Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants act much more like your natural teeth. They replace the functions of the crowns of your missing teeth as well as their roots. The posts that provide support for your replacement teeth provide the same stimulation that the roots of your natural teeth once did. This keeps essential nutrients flowing to your jawbone, preventing bone loss as well as gum resorption. The sooner you replace your missing teeth with dental implants, the less bone and gum resorption you will have to endure.
If you have any questions regarding jaw and gum resorption after tooth loss, we can help. For more information, call Center for Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry at 508-996-3131 today.