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Jaw Bone Health

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Your jawbone plays many integral roles. In addition to providing support for your teeth, the bone allows you to eat and speak. It also helps to maintain the shape of your face while providing support for your skin. There are some different factors that can affect the health of your jawbone. Susquehanna Oral and Facial Surgery and Dental Implant Center is here to help.

Causes of Bone Loss

There are several different issues that can lead to the loss of mass in your jawbone. These issues include:
•  Losing teeth. Your teeth provide stimulation for your jawbone. This stimulation triggers your body to send essential nutrients. When you lose teeth, the bone loses stimulation. Over time, the bone begins to weaken.
•  Gum, or periodontal, disease. When you have gum disease, your gum tissue becomes irritated and inflamed. The tissue begins to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets. Bacteria fall into these pockets, where they begin to attack your periodontal ligaments and jawbone. This chronic inflammation causes the bone to begin to break down.
•  Alignment issues. When your teeth are poorly aligned, your bite is affected. This can lead to issues such as bruxism. Bruxism puts excessive pressure on your teeth that wear away periodontal ligaments and your jawbone.
•  Tumors in the jaw. When tumors, whether benign or malignant, are removed, sometimes some bone needs to be removed as well.
•  Osteoporosis. This is a condition that causes your bones, including your jawbone, to become weak.
•  Dentures. Although dentures are designed to restore many of the functions of missing teeth, they cannot stop bone loss in your jaw. As a result, your bone continues to weaken over time, changing shape. Moreover, wearing ill-fitting dentures can speed up the rate of bone loss.

What Happens When You Lose Bone Mass?

When you lose bone mass in your jaw, several issues occur. Bone loss affects the shape of your jaw. This causes any healthy teeth remaining in the arch are then thrown out of proper alignment. When this happens, your bite is off. An off bite affects your ability to eat, which affects digestion and overall nutrition. Your speech is impacted. Bone loss creates uneven pressure, which increases your risk for tooth damage. Changes in the shape of your jawbone also affect the shape of your face. Your skin and facial features lose support, which leads to a sunken appearance, sagging skin, and wrinkles.

Bone Loss and Implants

Dental implants are a modern, and very popular, treatment option for replacing missing teeth. This treatment uses small titanium posts that are surgically implanted into the jaw to support your dental restorations. The success of your dental implants depends heavily upon the fusion of your jawbone to the posts. If you do not have enough bone mass remaining in your jaw, the fusion cannot occur properly, or at all. The result is loose implants that may even fail.

Restoring Strength to Your Jaw

If your jawbone is too weak, missing bone mass can be replaced. This is done through a surgical procedure called a bone graft. With a bone graft, bone material is taken from another area of your body, or from a donor, and transplanted into the weak areas of your jaw. As you heal, your existing bone fuses with or around the graft material, restoring the strength and shape of the bone.

How Do I Maintain my Jaw Health?

Keeping your jawbone healthy is essential for ensuring its strength. First, brush and floss your teeth every day. A good oral hygiene routine should also include regular dental cleanings and exams. These habits are crucial for the prevention of gum disease and other oral health issues. Have alignment issues corrected? Replace missing teeth right away with dental implants. You should also maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Keeping your jaw healthy is essential for your oral health, the appearance of your face and smile, and your overall quality of life. For more information, call Susquehanna Oral and Facial Surgery and Dental Implant Center at (570) 323-1900 today.


(570) 323-1900


1701 Four Mile Drive
Williamsport, PA 17701


(570) 546-7600


23 East Water Street
Muncy, PA 17756

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