Alveolar Bone Loss – What is Alveolar Bone Loss?
Alveolar bone loss
It is a pathological condition where there is resorption of alveolar bone due to conditions such as periodontal disease. In this article, we shall know important things about alveolar bone loss covering causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of the condition.
Alveolar bone is the thickened ridge of the bone containing the tooth sockets on bone that bears the teeth. It is also known as alveolar process. The maxilla and mandible are the tooth-bearing bones in humans and the supporting structure of these bones is known as alveolar bone. In other words, it may be best described as a thin layer of compact bone that forms the tooth socket surrounding the roots of the teeth. The figure explains the alveolar bone clearly.
Causes of alveolar bone loss
The primary cause of alveolar bone loss is periodontitis (the gum disease). Tooth loss and osteoporosis also contribute to bone loss in alveolar process.
Symptoms of alveolar bone loss
- Loose teeth
- Unusual tooth loss
- Gum disease
- Decrease in facial height
- Inability to fit the dentures properly
- Other symptoms of malnutrition such as weakness and fatigue
Diagnosis of alveolar bone loss
The dentist goes for a complete oral examination to diagnose the bone loss in alveolar process. Diagnosis can be confirmed by any of the home osteoporosis tests or home bone loss tests.
Treatment of alveolar bone loss
- First step is to compensate for tooth loss. Dental prostheses are used for this.
- Maxillary dentures that have a large surface area on the hard palate are fabricated and adjusted to fit well.
- Surgical way of treatment is endosseous titanium implants that are placed in the maxilla or mandible to support the dentures. Imported prostheses give adequate chewing and speaking capability and also help in preventing alveolar bone loss.
- However, these dentures must be properly fitted to prevent bone loss. They must be checked and evaluated at least yearly to ensure its stability and retention.