Missing teeth is one of the more common causes for bone loss and deterioration but bone grafting may be needed to correct issues caused by a variety of other issues including:
Periodontal disease is characterized by chronic inflammation or frequent infections of gum tissue and can gradually weaken teeth and their supporting structures. Most periodontal issues arise from plaque that irritates and inflames the gums around the teeth. Plaque can also provide a breeding ground for bacteria that produce toxins that can further inflame the gums and lead to infections. Gingivitis is a less severe case of plaque inflamed gums but often precedes periodontal disease which can affect the deeper tissues, ligaments, and bone below the teeth. If allowed to go on for too long, the bone around the teeth deteriorates and teeth can easily fall out leading to further bone loss if not quickly addressed.
Unanchored dentures and bridgework do not stimulate the bone underneath because they simply sit on top of the gum line. The lack of stimulation causes the bone to weaken and deteriorate. Eventually, the bone structures change and shift causing dentures to fit poorly and feel insecure. However, dentures that are supported by anchors, such as implant-supported overdentures will stimulate the bone, therefore, preserving its health and strength.
Dr. Andrus and Dr. Howard can also treat bone loss that occurs when teeth are lost due to trauma. As it occurs with other cases of missing teeth, the bone underneath the surface will slowly deteriorate without stimulation. Bone grafting can be used to repair damaged bone and prevent bone loss and weakness, preserving function and structural integrity of the maxillofacial region.
Teeth that are misaligned, crooked or for some reason not growing properly can cause a whole host of problems including jaw pain, TMJ disorders, increased wear-and-tear and bone deterioration.
Occasionally severe infections can get into the bone, leading to inflammation and destruction. Treatment requires antibiotics and sometimes the removal of the infected bone. In these cases, Dr. Andrus and Dr. Howard can insert healthy bone tissue via a bone graft to replace the infected and destroyed bone.
Facial or oral tumors may also grow into the bones of the jaw and mid-face, altering bone structure and health. Treatment frequently requires removal of the tumor and thus removal of any affect bone tissue. Bone grafts are used to stimulate new, healthy bone growth in places where removal was necessary.
Certain environmental factors or hereditary conditions can cause birth defects and other developmental deformities of the teeth, facial bones, jaw or skull. Normal bone function and growth can often be achieved through the use of bone grafts for these individuals.
If molars are removed from the upper row of teeth, air pressure within the sinuses of the cheekbones can be disrupted and cause changes in the structure of the sinuses. The bone then becomes quite delicate and significantly insufficient to support the placement of dental implants. Drs. Andrus or Howard can perform a procedure called a “sinus lift” to remedy this occurrence.