A healthy level of bone is a very important thing for your mouth. Our bone secures our teeth into place and supports them during normal activities like chewing and biting. Without adequate bone height, our teeth can become mobile and lack the stability that they need, causing them to fall out. Patients who wear dentures will also find that without enough bone support, their prosthesis will not fit properly.
Gum disease is the number one cause of bone loss around the teeth. The bone naturally resorbs away when bacteria from plaque and tartar enter into the gum pocket around the tooth. The body’s immune response sends antibodies to the area to destroy the infection, but bone support is permanently lost in the process. This bone cannot be restored, so prevention and treatment of gum disease is extremely important.
Wearing your dentures through the night, without taking them out, can cause bone tissue to fade away. Your gum tissues and bone need a rest, so leave your appliance to soak each night and then brush it clean in the morning before putting it back in. Massaging your bone and gum tissue will help trigger circulation, keeping bone levels high and supporting your appliance for a longer period of time. If you begin to develop sore spots or rocking in your denture, you may have areas of bone loss. Relining your denture or making a new appliance can effectively get your dentures back to where they fit properly.
As we age, it is normal for us to have small amounts of bone loss. Your dentist will take routine x-rays to monitor the bone height and health of your teeth, identifying any areas with abnormal loss.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel
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