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Jaw Bone Loss and Deterioration

Dr. Burzynski from Susquehanna Oral and Facial Surgery and Dental Implant Center discussing jaw bone loss with a patient
Your jawbone is an important feature that performs many essential tasks every single day. The bone provides support for your teeth and allows you to eat and speak properly. Additionally, the bone maintains your facial shape and provides support for facial tissues. There are, however, several issues that can affect the health of your jawbone, causing bone loss and deterioration. Susquehanna Oral and Facial Surgery and Dental Implant Center can help.

Tooth Loss

When a tooth is lost or extracted, and it is not replaced, your jawbone begins to deteriorate. The teeth play an integral role in the health of your jawbone. Every time you chew, the roots of your teeth stimulate the bone. This stimulation triggers your body to send essential nutrients to the jaw and surrounding areas. When you lose a tooth, you lose the stimulation from that tooth. As a result, fewer nutrients are sent. Over time, the bone begins to weaken and deteriorate.

Gum Disease

Gum or periodontal disease is a serious, progressive oral health issue. It begins when plaque and bacteria accumulate on your teeth. These substances irritate your gum tissue, causing inflammation. Inflammation eventually causes the gums to begin to pull away from your teeth, leading to the formation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria fall into these pockets and begin to attack the periodontal ligaments as well as your jawbone. Over time, these supporting structures begin to deteriorate.

Bridges and Dentures

Bridges and dentures are traditional restorations that are used to replace missing teeth. While they replace biting, chewing, speech, and your smile, they cannot stop the bone loss in the jaw that occurs following tooth loss or extraction. As a result, the bone continues to lose mass and changes shape over time. When this happens, your restorations do not fit properly anymore. Wearing ill-fitting dental restorations can speed up the rate of bone loss.

Facial Trauma

Facial trauma has some different causes. It can occur as a result of a car accident, a sports injury, or a fall. Facial trauma can result in a tooth being knocked out or damaging a tooth to the extent that it needs to be removed. Again, this can cause bone deterioration unless the tooth is replaced right away. Facial trauma can also result in jaw fractures that can impact the health of your jaw.

Misaligned Teeth

When your teeth or jaws are poorly aligned, it creates a situation where your bite is off. Some teeth I have not have an opposing tooth to make contact with. This can result in a lack of stimulation in certain areas of the jaw. Alignment issues can also lead to bruxism, which can cause excessive pressure on your teeth, the periodontal ligaments, and the jawbone. This excessive pressure can wear away at your jaw causing bone deterioration.


Benign tumors in the jaw, while not life-threatening, can grow rather large. To remove them, a portion of the jaw needs to be removed as well. Malignant, or cancerous, tumors in the mouth often spread to the jaw, requiring removal of a section of the bone. Bone grafting is often required to restore function to your jaw.

Bone loss and deterioration in your jaw can have many significant effects on your oral health and quality of life. However, missing bone mass can be replaced. For more information, call Susquehanna Oral and Facial Surgery and Dental Implant Center today at (570) 323-1900.


(570) 323-1900


1701 Four Mile Drive
Williamsport, PA 17701
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(570) 546-7600


23 East Water Street
Muncy, PA 17756

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