Reasons for Jawbone Loss and Deterioration

The following are the most common causes for jawbone deterioration and loss that may require a bone grafting procedure:

Tooth Extractions

When an adult tooth is removed and not replaced with an implant or bone grafted, jawbone deterioration may occur.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal diseases are ongoing infections of the gums that gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Periodontal disease destroys bone that holds in teeth.


Unanchored dentures are placed on top of the gum and do not provide any direct stimulation to the underlying bone. Over time, the lack of stimulation causes the bone to resorb. Because this type of denture relies on the bone to hold them in place, people often experience loosening of their dentures and problems eating and speaking. Eventually, bone loss may become so severe that dentures cannot be held in place even with strong adhesives, and a new set may be required. Proper denture care, repair, and refitting are essential to maintaining oral health. Some dentures are supported by anchors, which do help adequately stimulate, and therefore preserve bone.

This problem can be solved by placement of dental implants. 


Teeth can be  knocked out from injury or accident, jaw fractures, or teeth with a history of trauma that experience nerve death and lead to bone loss years after the initial trauma.

Misalignment of Teeth

Misalignment issues can create a situation in the mouth where some teeth no longer have an opposing tooth structure. The unopposed tooth can erupt, causing deterioration of the underlying bone.

Issues such as TMJ problems, normal wear-and-tear, and lack of treatment can also create abnormal physical forces that interfere with the teeth’s ability to grind and chew properly. Over time, bone deterioration can occur where bone is losing stimulation.


Some conditions, syndromes, or birth defects are characterized by missing portions of the teeth, facial bones, jaw or skull. Additionally, removal of some benign growths in the gums and/or jaws may result in removal of a large portion of bone.

Sinus Deficiencies

When molars are removed from the upper jaw, resorption of the bone that formerly held the teeth in place occurs. As a result, the sinuses become enlarged. This condition usually develops anywhere from three months to several years following tooth removal in some of these cases the bone must be rebuilt (a sinus elevation) before dental implants can be placed.