First, let’s consider why it’s vital to do all we can to prevent bone loss after tooth loss.
Losing bone tissue puts your remaining teeth at risk for dental decay and gum disease. Losing a tooth and the bone beneath it can cause adjacent teeth to shift, making it more difficult to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums. This can lead to dental decay, which can require expensive restorative work or even cause tooth loss. Gum disease can also lead to gum infections, tooth mobility, and tooth loss.
Bone loss and shifting teeth can Patients may also experience damaged jaw joints and head/neck muscle, tendon, and ligament strain, which can cause tremendous pain.
Patients who lose their teeth and jawbone density can experience difficulty when chewing their food. Chewing can become so uncomfortable that they start to avoid hard, crunchy foods—often the very foods that promote good health, like fresh fruits and vegetables.
Speaking can also become problematic, with some people developing lisps and needing to relearn how to say certain words or letters.
No one wants to look older than they are, as evidenced by the fact that the cosmetic industry made nearly $50 billion in revenue last year in the U.S. alone.
Healthy bone structure helps us look our best. As bone levels recede after an extraction, the jaw becomes thinner and can emphasize lines and wrinkles. A dense jawbone, on the other hand, can help maintain youthful fullness in the face. While that’s not the main reason we recommend preventing jawbone loss, it’s definitely an added perk!
Now that we’ve reviewed why it’s important to slow or arrest bone loss after an extraction, here are some steps from our Renovo endodontic team that can help.
After an extraction, our Renovo endodontic specialists always provide specific after-care instructions. These instructions will help you care for the extraction site, promote proper healing, and minimize the risk of complications (some of which can lead to bone loss).
A great way to support the health of bones throughout your body—including your jawbones—is to eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals. Particularly important are:
Getting the nutrients we need to maintain a healthy body is not always easy. If necessary, add a multivitamin to your diet or specific supplements if you have low levels of certain vitamins or minerals.
Weight-bearing exercises—whether body-weight exercises or lifting weights—can help strengthen your bones.
Nocturnal bruxism (clenching and grinding) puts excess pressure on the jawbone. We recommend a nightguard to patients who grind their teeth to help protect their teeth and jawbones.
Gum disease can cause infections that destroy bone tissue. Therefore, daily brushing and flossing are a must to maintain bone density.
Regular cleanings and checkups allow your dental team to catch issues early. In turn, this allows them to provide the necessary treatment to heal your oral tissues and prevent complications that can lead to bone loss.
Over time, smoking contributes to bone loss. In fact, we don’t consider patients who smoke as promising candidates for dental implants, because smoking increases the likelihood of bone loss and implant failure.
Like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption can eventually weaken bones and lead to bone tissue loss.
Even if you take the steps we recommend to prevent bone loss, there’s still a chance that you’ll experience some jawbone recession after extractions. As mentioned, the teeth serve as an anchor for the jawbone. Once they’re gone, it isn’t easy to maintain the same jawbone density.
Thankfully, some procedures can help you restore and maintain healthy jawbone density levels.
Bone grafting is a procedure in which bone or bonelike material is surgically grafted onto your jawbone. The graft can help reduce your risk of certain dental diseases and can be a good foundation for dental restorations, including implants and dentures.
Your Renovo dental team highly recommends dental implants as soon as possible after an extraction. Placing an implant right away can help prevent bone loss or further loss if you’ve already experienced some due to periodontal disease.
Our Renovo endodontic specialists can place single or multiple implants. Several implants are an excellent option for supporting a complete denture for fully edentulous patients.
Bone loss after an extraction is not a minor issue. It’s something that can impact your oral health, how you speak, and what you eat, which directly impacts your general health. If you want to keep your teeth, gums, jawbones, and body healthy, practice some of the tips mentioned here.
And don’t forget to talk to your Renovo endodontic team. Our specialists can create a custom plan to help you preserve your bone tissue and maintain good oral health for years.
Would you like to learn more about maintaining oral health after an extraction? Contact Renovo Endodontic Studio to schedule a consultation.