About Me

Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

My intense love for candy, cakes, and everything in between started as a child. I simply couldn't go one day without something sweet to eat. But my love for all things sweet took a toll on my teeth. My dentist diagnosed me with seven cavities, each one a different size and depth. After sitting through four long dental appointments, I decided to make a change. I now monitor my diet and only eat things that benefit my oral health. I'm here to help you take better care of your teeth. My blog offers tips on how to improve your diet, maintain good oral hygiene, and many other topics. Hopefully, you can learn to overcome your bad habits just as I did. Good luck with your future dental health.


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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

3 Primary Causes Of Jawbone Loss

by Eric Bailey

Dental implants are the most effective means of replacing missing teeth because they are both natural-looking and permanent. However, dental implants cannot always be implanted immediately due to jawbone resorption beneath the area where your real tooth was lost. Here is an explanation of the three primary causes of jawbone resorption.

Lack of Jawbone Stimulation

The bone and soft tissue that surrounds the roots of your teeth to hold them in place is known as the dental alveoli. The alveoli requires stimulation to prevent it from atrophying and eroding away. Mechanical stimulation from chewing and clenching your teeth stimulates the alveoli, but if you have lost a tooth this stimulation will not occur. Tooth loss, whether by a dental professional or from trauma, will immediately put the alveoli at risk.

Using forms of tooth replacement other than dental implants will also cause the jawbone to erode. Because dentures do not put any pressure on the dental socket, they do not stimulate the alveoli to prevent erosion. Likewise, dental bridges can allow jawbone degradation to take place because the dental crowns are suspended above the gums instead of set into them.

If you have any form of jawbone misalignment that prevents your teeth from clenching properly, you are at risk of jawbone degradation. This includes underbites, overbites, and open bites, which do not put adequate pressure on the front teeth, as well as crossbites, which prevent the molars from connecting properly.

Bacterial Infections

The bacteria that naturally exists in your mouth can cause inflammation in the soft tissue and bone surrounding the roots of your teeth. If plaque is left on the enamel of your teeth, it will eventually harden into tartar that cannot be removed without the help of a dentist. Over time, this leads to a condition known as periodontitis, where pockets of bacteria build up between the roots of your teeth and the surrounding tissues. Your body will naturally erode the tissues and bone around your teeth in an attempt to fight the infection.

Sometimes, jawbone degradation can occur as a result of an infection of the pulps of your teeth rather than your gums. Cavities and cracked teeth allow the bacteria in your mouth to attack the pulp. This infection can spread from the nerves in the tooth pulp to the surrounding jawbone and begin to destroy it. This will turn into a dental abscess that causes pain, swelling, and pus-filled pockets on the gums called fistulas. If this infection is not treated, it can lead to a dangerous condition called osteomyelitis of the jaw when the marrow in your jawbone becomes inflamed.

Medical Conditions

There are some medical conditions that are not directly related to tooth decay or gum disease that can lead to jawbone degradation. One of the most common is facial tumors that require surgical removal or radiation treatment. Radiation treatment can kill the living tissues in the jawbone and cause the body to erode it away. If tumors are located on or near the mouth and chin, surgeons will often have to remove a large portion of the jawbone to remove the tumor. Jawbones can also be insufficient to support dental implants due to defects that were present since birth. Certain developmental cysts of the jaw must be removed to prevent more serious defects as the jawbone grows.

Jawbone degradation can occur due to a wide number of factors, but usually does not rule out dental implants as a tooth replacement method. Oral surgeons can perform bone grafts for both mild and severe cases of jawbone degradation, making dental implants an option after the grafted bone has healed and fused with the surrounding jawbone. Click here to find more information.