It’s important to have a healthy jaw bone. Without a healthy jaw bone, teeth may become loose or even start to fall out, and it will become impossible to anchor implants in your mouth. Additionally, if your jaw bone is not healthy, that can impact how your mouth functions and potentially lead to aesthetic issues or ill-fitting dentures. Luckily, a jaw surgeon may be able to help address this issue through bone grafting.

Jaw Bone Deterioration

Osteoporosis can cause issues with your jaw bone in addition to the other bones in your body. Because of this, women with osteoporosis often lose more teeth than individuals without this condition.

However, that’s not the only issue that affects the health of your jaw bone. When your teeth get pulled, your body intuitively starts to believe that it has no use for your jaw bone. As a result, your jaw bone starts deteriorating. This becomes a self-perpetuating cycle—you get a tooth extracted, the jaw bone senses it isn’t needed and starts to deteriorate, more teeth fall out, and the cycle continues.

Issues Related to Jawbone Loss

In addition to the issues outlined above, jaw bone loss can have other effects on your mouth. In particular, your facial profile may start to change. Your lips won’t have enough support, your cheeks may start sagging inward, and your features may look distorted or collapsed.
However, it doesn’t just have aesthetic effects. Patients who experience extreme jaw bone loss also have trouble speaking or eating. In many cases, dentures can help with both of these issues, but unfortunately, once someone experiences a lot of jaw bone loss, it becomes impossible to fit indentures. Luckily, a jaw surgeon can do a bone graft so that dentures are possible.

Protecting Your Jaw Health

There are ways that you can protect the health of your jaw. If possible, when you have an option between tooth extraction and a root canal, always opt for the root canal. Although that procedure tends to be more expensive, saving the tooth is worth it, and it helps protect the health of your mouth.

If you have to get a tooth extracted, talk with your jaw surgeon or dentist about putting in an implant. Because the jaw bone fuses around the implant, the bone continues to feel needed, and your immune system doesn’t kick into overdrive and try to break down the bone.
Eating a healthy diet also helps. Try to focus on lots of Vitamin D and calcium—they are both essential for bone health throughout your body. If you smoke, try to quit, and cut down on drinking if applicable.

If you have a risk of osteoporosis, make sure to get checked regularly. In addition to getting help from your doctor, you may be able to get help from your dentist. With a dental x-ray, most dentists are able to tell if you have warning signs of osteoporosis.

If you want to protect the health of your jaw and take care of the rest of your dental needs, contact us today. Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery is an oral and maxillofacial dental office with two convenient locations. Our jaw surgeon and dental specialists look forward to working with you.

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