Understanding born resorption in our dental health is important because it provides a better picture of why we need our teeth or prosthetics.

In oral health, it is always the standard to preserve the natural tooth if we can, but if we can’t, tooth extraction and dental prosthetics — dentures and dental implants — are the best practice. And while people often think that getting dental prosthetics may be just be related to aesthetics, it’s actually a structural thing as well. 

And, it’s all pertinent to bone resorption!  

At the Alaska Center For Oral + Facial Surgery, we know bone resorption and how it pertains to the structure and function of your teeth and jaw. Learn more about bone resorption in today’s post. 

The Role Of Bone Resorption In Dental Health

Bone resorption is exactly what it sounds like — it’s breaking down and reabsorbing bones back into the body. It may sound like an odd process for our bodies to do, but it’s actually natural and necessary. 

For example, when we are younger and begin to lose our baby teeth, it’s bone resorption that helps breakdown any bone left behind to create room for our permanent adult teeth. 

While bone resorption happens throughout your body in all of your bones because our bodies are in a constant state of bone remodeling, bone resorption and how it relates to your dental health can look a little different. 

The typical process involves breaking down damaged or weakened bone tissue through osteoclasts — cells that break down bone — once the bone is removed, we begin building new bone. 

When it has to do with one in our mouths, resorption pertains more to the changes at the root of the tooth. 

The Two Sites Of Dental Resorption

We know resorption can happen at the root, but it can happen both internally and externally. 

External bone resorption – Develops on the exterior of the tooth in the site where your tooth connects to your jawbone. A sign that you may have external bone resorption are pink spots around the tooth on the gums.     

Internal bone resorption – This site of bone resorption is within your tooth and can result from chronic inflammation in the tooth’s pulp.

How can you treat bone resorption in these areas?

While both are manageable and can be treated if caught early on, internal resorption is easier to remedy. Bone breakdown occurs when there is trauma or irritation to the site and is typically mitigated with a root canal or another oral surgery — your oral surgeon will extract a portion of the damaged root which should stop the bone resorption at this point. 

When it comes to external bone resorption, it’s more complex and may result in a root canal or tooth extraction. If your tooth does need to be extracted, you can talk to an oral surgeon about your tooth prosthetic options. 

Why does bone resorption occur if teeth are lost or extracted? 

Bones are strengthened through impact and physical stimulus, and for your jawbone, this means the force your teeth place upon it — even chewing and biting creates an impact that fortifies the bone in your mouth. 

When bones, or in this case, teeth, go missing the jawbone and surrounding teeth lose its impact which signals your body to produce osteoclasts to breakdown the jaw bone. And while new bone is still being made, it’s at a slower rate than the breakdown of bone. 

This is why tooth loss or tooth extraction is associated with both bone loss and bone resorption. It’s been shown that roughly 25% of bone is lost is one year after a tooth loss or extraction and only continues to deteriorate from there. 

Other dental health issues that impact bone resorption are periodontitis — gum disease — and osteoporosis. 

The Dental Impacts Of Bone Resorption And Jawbone Loss

If bone resorption goes untreated, it’s not something that will go away and will only continue to progress which makes getting dentures or dental implants increasingly more difficult the longer you wait. 

It also results in facial changes, with the lips and cheeks sinking and shifting over time. 

How is bone resorption treated?

Bone resorption treatment depends on the reason for your bone deterioration, so it’s important you work with a dental professional to give you clarification on your tooth or jawbone condition. For most, treating bone resorption is placing dental prosthetics to reintroduce a stimulus. Dental implants are a great way to stimulate bone and stop the resorption. 

Tackle Bone Resorption With Us!

From bone resorption at the root of the tooth to jawbone loss as a result of missing teeth, we’re here to provide the best solutions and treatments in bone resorption for a healthy, functional, and beautiful smile. 

For more information on our dental prosthetics including dental implants, schedule a consultation with us today!