Implant & Periodontics / Periodontal Disease and Bone Loss
3D Patient Educator(R)
The bone can atrophy with the teeth still in place. This occurs through the continual inflammation of the gum tissue called periodontal disease.
In the early stages, this is relatively unnoticeable and can only be detected with a detailed examination of the pocket depths around the teeth.
With periodontal disease the pocket depth increases with time. The disease can be masked by the gum tissue as it continues to appear normal while the bone continues to atrophy.
This bone loss will continue just as it does in the case of disuse atrophy, with the teeth out of the mouth. Due to the accelerated pocketing, the disease progresses more rapidly with time.
Eventually, the teeth have no bony support, become infected, and need to be extracted or, in some cases, fall out of the mouth.
Allowed to continue, all the teeth may eventually be lost.
If this process is allowed to continue to these severe levels, the remaining bone heals with an irregular surface and can be very painful.
The gum eventually smoothes out and we are left with the end stages of jaw bone atrophy.
If we wait until the teeth fall out and allow the bone loss to continue, then we may be left with a situation where it is difficult and uncomfortable to wear a denture, and there is only enough bone to place a limited number of dental implants.
We may only be able to offer a removable type of implant restoration to the patient. Compares the benefits of a fixed appliance option, available if the teeth are removed at an early stage of the disease process, to a removable appliance,if the teeth are removed, or fall out, in the later stages of the disease.