Preventing Bone Loss After a Dental Extraction

You’ve just had a damaged tooth extracted, and your toothache is gone. That’s the end of your problem, right? Unfortunately, there’s more involved with tooth extraction than most people realize, and ignoring that empty socket where your tooth used to be will only set you up for more problems in the future. Your dentist in Cinncinnati, OH, can give you guidance following your tooth extraction.

What Happens After I Have a Tooth Extracted?

After a tooth extraction, the socket where your tooth was will heal over. Eventually, you will just feel gum where your tooth used to be. If your lost tooth is in the back of your mouth where it’s not noticeable, you may be tempted to ignore it. But teeth line your gums for a reason — the pressure they exert through chewing actually keeps the jawbone beneath the gumline healthy. When there’s no longer a tooth in place, your bone begins to recede, and bone loss occurs.

What Is Bone Loss?

Bone loss happens when the jawbone beneath your extracted tooth recedes. Over time, this causes a dip in your gumline, which may lead to other things, such as:

  • Shifting teeth
  • Gaps
  • Malocclusion
  • Changes in facial structure

Bone loss after an extraction may cause teeth to shift to such a degree that they no longer come together at the front of your mouth. This can cause a condition known as an open bite. When you can’t close your teeth, it’s difficult to eat a sandwich, chew pasta, or even speak clearly. You may develop a speech impediment or increase your risk of choking on the foods you love.

How Can I Prevent Bone Loss After an Extraction?

The simplest way to prevent bone loss after having a tooth removed is to fill the empty tooth socket with implant dentistry. Dental implants look and function like natural teeth and keep the jawbone healthy and active. Schedule an appointment with Kemper Meadow Family Dentistry if you’re interested in learning more about dental implants in Cinncinnati, OH.