Your jawbone serves as the foundation for your lower face and your smile. Without a strong jawbone, the shape of your face can change, teeth can shift, and other oral health complications can arise. What causes jawbone recession? What can you do to prevent it? Learn more about this common condition below.
At Hill Country Oral Surgery, we’re committed to improving the oral health of our patients in Austin, TX. Contact us at 512-327-7233 to schedule a consultation or to learn more about the oral surgery services we offer.
What Causes Jawbone Recession?
Jawbone deterioration occurs when the bone in the jaw begins to recede, become weaker, or deteriorate. It can happen to the upper jawbone, lower jawbone, or both. There are many reasons why this may occur including:
- Tooth Extraction- The teeth play an important role in jawbone health. Each time you bite down, your teeth stimulate the jawbone, keeping it strong and healthy. Missing teeth, often from an extraction, leave bone unstimulated and in time, it can begin to degrade.
- Trauma- Injury or trauma to the jaw can lead to deterioration, especially if teeth are knocked out or shifted in their positioning.
- Dentures or Dental Bridges- Dentures and dental bridges provide cosmetic replacement for missing teeth, but they do not stimulate the bone. Many patients experience jaw deterioration in the areas under dentures or dental bridges.
- Misaligned Bite- If your teeth aren’t properly aligned, your bite may not stimulate the jawbone sufficiently to maintain a healthy bone structure.
- Gum Disease- Periodontal disease, including gingivitis, can destroy the support for your natural teeth by eroding the bone and tooth structure.
- Disease- Tumors, bacterial infections, osteoporosis, and other diseases can lead to jaw deterioration and tooth loss.
Early action can help to slow and stop jawbone loss. If you’ve had a tooth removed or experience dental trauma, early treatment can save your jawbone’s structure. Proper dental care and early treatment of gum disease can also help to preserve your bone health.
A Strong Healthy Jaw Is Important… Here’s Why
The jaw plays a critical role in dental health and appearance. If you’re at risk for jawbone recession, get treatment now to avoid these common complications.
- Loose or missing teeth
- Increase in tongue size
- Change in facial structure and appearance
- Inability to support dental implants
- Changes in fit or comfort to dental restorations
- Shifting tooth positioning
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty eating and obtaining proper nutrition
- Sinus expansion
The sooner you seek treatment, the less advanced the bone loss will be. We encourage patients to visit their dentist regularly and to seek out advanced dental care from an oral surgeon as needed.
Treating Jawbone Recession – What Are My Options?
If you have jawbone deterioration, treatment options are available. Learn more about your options below or call our offices for a consultation. During your consultation, we’ll provide personalized treatment advice, customized for your dental needs.
- Dental Implants- When a tooth is removed, a dental implant can provide the biting forces necessary for dental health. We recommend placing an implant as soon as possible after extraction to minimize the need for bone grafting.
- Bone Grafting- Bone grafting, using donor or harvested bone, can restore the structure of the jaw. This treatment is ideal for patients with significant bone loss. In many cases, bone grafting can create sufficient bone structure to support a dental implant.
- Sinus Lift- Missing teeth can cause the sinus cavities to shift. A sinus lift puts things back into position, facilitating a better implant placement.
Regular dental care can also improve your oral and jaw health. Avoid smoking and live a healthy lifestyle. Your mouth is part of your body, and a healthier body means healthier teeth.
Restore and protect your jawbone health at Hill Country Oral Surgery, one of Austin’s top oral surgery practices.