When we lose teeth we lose bone volume. Technically it’s called alveolar ridge resorption after tooth extraction. We know that’s a mouthful, but it’s important to understand why this happens and what you can do to limit the amount of bone loss after tooth removal.
The Reasons for Bone Loss After Tooth Extraction
Your natural teeth are embedded in the jawbone. When you bite and chew food, these actions stimulate the bone and help keep it strong. When teeth are missing, the alveolar bone which is the portion of the jawbone that anchors the teeth in the mouth, no longer receives this critical stimulation, and begins to break down, or resorb. The body no longer uses or “needs” the jawbone,. This deterioration is made worse by the use of traditional dentures. The pressure of dentures on the top surface of the bone accelerates this “melting away” of the bone.
The rate the bone deteriorates, as well as the amount of bone loss that occurs, varies greatly from one individual to another. However, most lost occurs within the first eighteen months following the extraction, and continues throughout your life. In Fact bone loss during the first year after an extraction is five times faster than at any onther time.
How to Prevent Bone Loss After Tooth Removal
The best way to prevent bone loss after tooth removal is to place Dental Implants. These implants bond with the bone and simulate the tension that teeth apply to bone. Tension stimulates bone growth, whereas pressure causes bone loss.
This is true for both individual teeth and the complete removal of all teeth.