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Bone Loss in Teeth

Bone Loss in Teeth

Dental bone loss in teeth is a common complication of untreated periodontal diseases. Given below are the causes, accompanying symptoms, and treatment options for this condition.
Dr. Sumaiya Khan
The tooth is an important structure that is present in the oral cavity, lodged in bony sockets. The tooth is held in place with the help of supporting structures that is together known as the periodontium. This periodontium consists of gums, periodontal fibers, cementum, and bone. The jawbone has sockets in which the tooth is firmly held in place with the help of the periodontal fibers. However, sometimes, there is recession in the bone level, which is due to bone loss in teeth. This can have very grave repercussions on the dental health of the individual.
Causes
Periodontal Diseases
It is one of the main dental problems that leads to this condition. These often start off as gum diseases, and are in fact, often seen as a result of aggravation of untreated gum diseases. This is normally seen as a result of the inflammation of the periodontium, which leads to chronic periodontitis. Certain other types of more serious periodontal diseases include aggressive periodontitis, necrotizing ulcerative periodontitis, abscess of the periodontium, and periodontitis that is a manifestation of a systemic disease.
Tooth Infections
Sometimes, this condition may arise as a result of a long standing tooth decay. This usually occurs when the tooth decay passes through the enamel and dentine and enters the pulp. This infection then travels into the root canal and leads to periapical tooth abscess. This causes slow destruction of the bone present around the tip of the root of the tooth.
Other Causes
There are a few other causes as well, like bad oral hygiene. Due to bad oral hygiene, there is accumulation of plaque around the edges of the tooth. This causes infection, which eventually leads to inflamed gums and eventual dental bone loss. Sometimes, faulty overhanging restorations also cause difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene, as do tightly fitting crowns and dental crowding. In all these conditions, it is not possible for the toothbrush bristles to reach these areas, due to which there is eventual accumulation of food particles and gum and bone infection.
Symptoms
  • Initially, redness or bleeding from gums is one of the most commonly seen symptoms. The bleeding from the gums is especially seen while brushing, and sometimes, in severe cases while eating food.
  • There may be swollen gums around the tooth, which are normally tender on palpation.
  • Bad breath is also commonly seen in people suffering from chronic periodontitis.
  • One of the key features seen in conjunction with bone loss is receding gums. The gums normally recede due to constant trauma and progression of infection.
  • One of the signs is the presence of deep pockets between adjacent teeth.
  • As bone loss progresses, the teeth normally become loose in their sockets and may even fall out easily.
Treatment Options
Unfortunately, there is no permanent and reversible treatment. This is so, because the damage that is done is nearly irreversible, and one cannot regrow bone in the sockets. What can be done is more or less merely prevention of any further infection.
Prevention
Firstly, one needs to maintain proper oral hygiene. This will prevent any infection of the tooth and the periodontium. Furthermore, if there is active infection, then it is best to visit a dentist and get the teeth cleaned and filled, if there are any dental caries. Depending on the case and severity, one can also go in for periodontal surgeries using bone grafts, that might be helpful in reversing some of the damage.
As stated above, since dental bone loss is irreversible, and more or less only prevention of any further damage can be done, it is best to practice proper dental care that will keep this condition as well as other dental problems at bay.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.