Jaw & Gum Resorption
Losing a tooth is more common in adults than you might think. There are many reasons why it might happen. One common cause is tooth decay that was never treated. Another reason why you might lose a tooth is because of a trauma to your face such as a fall or an athletic hit. Age can also be a reason why a person might lose one or more teeth.
Genetics can come into play as well. While these are just a few of the reasons why you might lose a tooth, there is one thing that they all have in common. Tooth loss affects more than just your tooth. Your gums and your jaw will change because of tooth loss as well. It is known as jaw and gum resorption. Here at Dr. Xixi Wu, we want to help you, even if you lost the tooth years ago.
What Is Resorption?
Before we can talk about what we can do about resorption, it is a good idea to explain a little bit about it. Resorption is the process by which your body starts to break down gum and bone and absorb it into your body. It starts to happen as soon as you lose a tooth. Over time, there will be less bone in your jaw, and your gums will change as well if they are left untreated.
There are things that we can do about resorption. One of the most common solutions is to perform a bone graft. This sounds like a complicated procedure, but it is fairly easy. It is also common. With a bone graft, as will take a small amount of bone. Often we will take the bone from your chin or a bone behind your knee. It is such a small amount of bone that is needed that you will never notice a difference.
The bone also could be animal bone, or it might be from a cadaver. We will grind the bone to the size of sand, and then we will place the bone in the area where the resorption has been taking place. Over the next few weeks, the bone granules will bond with your bone, and we will have reversed the resorption process.
Of course, a bone graft will not stop the resorption from taking place again. That is why we might recommend a dental implant to replace the missing tooth. With an implant, we will give you a new tooth that includes a new root system in the form of a screw. Your body will think that the implant is a natural tooth, and the resorption will stop. If you are having a problem with resorption with your gums, we can do a gum graft. We will add more tissue to your gumline to stop the process.
Resorption can change the shape of your mouth, but there are things that we can do about it. Here at Dr. Xixi Wu, we want to talk to you about your missing teeth. Call (972) 669-9444 to make an appointment right away.