This post from Dennis J. Coleman DDS in Davidson looks at bone recession, a common issue associated with a missing tooth. Bone recession can be avoided with a dental implant.
Let’s look at the most common causes of jaw bone recession:
Bone is living tissue and needs stimulation to stay healthy and retain its size and density. Biting, chewing, talking and all the other normal mouth functions keep the portion of the bone surrounding the tooth root healthy. When a tooth is extracted, the bone that used to anchor the tooth root recedes as if it understands that it is no longer needed. A dental implant provides stimulation similar to the natural tooth and can avoid bone recession.
A gum infection can result when gum inflammation goes untreated and progresses to periodontitis. With periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth creating pockets which provide the perfect breeding ground for the harmful infection.
Gum infections can move up undetected, though there are usually warning signs. Swollen, painful gums, loose teeth, and gums that bleed when brushed are symptoms of periodontitis. The infection dissolves bone as the gums pull away from the tooth. Inadequate oral hygiene increases the risk of gum disease but other factors can compromise gum health. These include smoking, hormone levels, diseases that lower immune system effectiveness, medications that cause dry mouth, and genetic predisposition.
An abscess is an infection in the nerve and roots of a tooth. There are several treatments for a tooth abscess including antibiotics to kill the infection, a root canal, or extraction, if needed.
Dental implants are titnaium posts that replace the missing tooth root, and can support one or more replacement teeth. They help to prevent bone recession, and the sagging appearance associated with it.
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