Missing Tooth Roots At The ‘Root’ Of Your Problem

Posted on Mar 28, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

When natural tooth roots are missing, the upper or lower jaw bone that once held them goes through a change. It’s a process known as ‘resorption,’ which describes the shrinking or declining mass of the bone.

Resorption occurs because the bone no longer has the stimulating presence of the tooth root. As the bone declines in height and width, neighboring teeth feel the effects of this bone loss. Adjacent tooth roots become bordered by an insufficient bone structure, causing these areas to become susceptible to a higher risk of cavities, gum disease, and tooth breaks or fractures.

While a crown-&-bridge combination can replace missing teeth, a bridge does not restore stimulation to the jaw bone. Eventually, the decline in bone mass reveals itself when a gap becomes visible between the bridge and the gums.

For those who wear a denture or partial denture to replace missing teeth, the pressure on the gums from these appliances actually accelerates the rate of bone loss. And, for those who sleep in these appliances, the 24/7 rate of pressure speeds up bone loss even more.

Profiles of healthy jaw bone and resorbed bone.

Profiles of healthy jaw bone and resorbed bone.

Bone loss through resorption is also the cause of facial changes, most of which are aging to one’s appearance. These include deep wrinkles that form around the mouth, the corners of the mouth turning downward even in a smile, a pointed chin, jowls that form from the detachment of facial muscles and a mouth that looks collapsed into the face (known as a ‘granny look’).

Halting bone loss can be done through the placement of Dental Implants. Since they are positioned in the jaw bone, they recreate the stimulation of tooth roots. Additionally, Dental Implants restore biting strength and stability without the fear of embarrassing slips.

Dental Implants are also self-supporting. This means that crowning neighboring teeth to support a bridge or partial is not necessary. With the jaw bone as their foundation, Dental Implants stand strong on their own.

Another bonus of Dental Implants? With proper selection, placement and care, Dental Implants are designed to last a lifetime. This is why it is important to have your implants placed by a skilled, experienced doctor. As a Periodontist, my specialty includes this advanced skill in both diagnosis and treatment.

Whenever possible, save your natural teeth to keep those tooth roots where they belong! However, losing a natural tooth doesn’t mean you need to suffer the long-term repercussions of bone loss.

Ask about Dental Implants to restore a natural look and feel while you protect surrounding teeth and bone structure. Call 828-274-9440. Begin with a consultation, if you prefer.

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