Missing Teeth and Jawbone Loss By Thomas G. Zarger Jr., D.D.S. on September 20, 2020

x-ray of patient with missing teethWhen patients have missing teeth and jawbone loss, both issues need to be treated as soon as possible. Not only is missing teeth a cosmetic issue, but the patients’ ability to chew is impacted. Patients can also experience pain and discomfort. Dr. Thomas Zarger examines patients at our Knoxville, TN, dental practice, to help them identify the best treatment to restore smiles and function.

During a consultation, Dr. Zarger provides patients with treatment options to improve their oral health. He often uses dental implants to replace missing teeth. These implants offer a natural, seamless look to give patients enhanced quality of life.

What Are the Common Causes of Missing Teeth?

There are various reasons why patients lose their teeth. The most common is gum disease, which is caused by a build-up of plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth and attracts bacteria and acids. The bacteria and acids can penetrate the tooth from the outer layer to the innermost layer. The resulting infection can cause tooth loss.

As patients age, tooth loss becomes more likely since teeth weaken over time. Diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, or high blood pressure can affect oral health. As a result, a patient might lose their teeth. Additionally, some of the medications that older patients take can have an impact on their oral health and cause them to lose teeth.

What Causes Jawbone Loss?

Missing teeth and jawbone loss are connected. Patients can lose jawbone density due to gum disease and excess bacteria growth. This response can lead to further destruction of the teeth and gums that also reaches the underlying bone. The bone deteriorates, resulting in a loss of density.

Additionally, the longer that teeth are missing, the more bone is lost. This occurs since the bone is no longer receiving stimulation, which causes atrophy. Since the body does not need the jawbone, it continues to lose mass.

What Happens If I Don’t Seek Treatment?

If a patient does not visit our Knoxville office to seek treatment for jawbone and tooth loss, the problem continues to get worse. The patient can lose more teeth and bone due to infection spreading throughout the mouth. Pain can also worsen, which can make it more difficult to chew and eat. Patients might also suffer from diminished self-esteem since they can be embarrassed by missing teeth and the condition of their mouth.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

To replace missing teeth, dental implant surgery is a great solution. Our dentist performs the procedure for patients who want an improved smile and quality of life. The following are some of the benefits of dental implants:

  • Prevents further bone deterioration
  • Restores the appearance of the mouth and provides a more youthful look
  • Can last 40+ years for longevity
  • Permanently fixed in the mouth for security
  • Restores ability to chew

What If My Bone Density Is Too Low?

Since you need healthy bone density for dental implants, our doctor can perform a bone graft procedure first to ensure the implants are stable. Once you have the proper amount of density, you can undergo dental implant surgery. There are several bone graft procedures that we can discuss during a consultation.

Learn More

To restore your missing teeth and jawbone loss, contact our Knoxville office at (865) 693-7631. Schedule a consultation to learn more about your options for achieving optimal oral health and a full smile.

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