Reasons for Jaw Bone Loss and Deterioration

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

Tooth Extractions

When an adult tooth is removed and not replaced jaw bone deterioration may occur. Natural teeth are embedded in the jaw bone and stimulate the jaw bone through activities such as chewing and biting. When teeth are missing, the alveolar bone, or the portion of the jaw bone that anchors the teeth in the mouth, no longer receives the necessary stimulation and begins to break down, or resorb. The body no longer uses or “needs” the jaw bone, so it deteriorates and goes away.

The rate that the bone deteriorates, as well as the amount of bone loss that occurs, varies greatly among individuals. However, most loss occurs within the first eighteen months following the extraction and will continue gradually throughout your life.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal diseases are ongoing infections of the gums that gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Periodontal disease affects one or more of the periodontal tissues: alveolar bone, periodontal ligament, cementum, or gingiva. While there are many diseases that affect the tooth-supporting structures, plaque-induced inflammatory lesions make up the majority of periodontal issues and are divided into two categories: gingivitis and periodontitis. While gingivitis, the less serious of the diseases, may never progress into periodontitis, it always precedes periodontitis.

Dental plaque is the primary cause of gingivitis in genetically-susceptible individuals. Plaque is a sticky colorless film, composed primarily of food particles and various types of bacteria, that adheres to your teeth at and below the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth, even minutes after cleaning. Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins, or poisons, that irritate the gums. Gums may become inflamed, red, swollen, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums will separate from the teeth causing pockets (spaces) to form. If daily brushing and flossing is neglected, plaque can harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line.

Periodontitis is affected by bacteria that adheres to the tooth’s surface, along with an overly aggressive immune response to these bacteria. If gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, the supporting gum tissue and bone that hold teeth in place deteriorates. The progressive loss of this bone, the alveolar, can lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth.


Unanchored dentures are placed on top of the gum line, but they do not provide any direct stimulation to the underlying alveolar bone. Over time the lack of stimulation causes the bone to resorb and deteriorate. 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 with strong adhesives, and a new set of dentures 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.

With bridgework, the teeth on either side of the appliance provide sufficient stimulation to the bone, but the portion of the bridge that spans the gap where the teeth are missing receives no direct stimulation. Bone loss can occur in this area.

By completing a bone graft procedure, Dr. Butura is now able to restore bone function and growth, thereby halting the effects of poor denture care.


When a tooth is knocked out or broken to the extent that no biting surface is left below the gum line, bone stimulation stops, which results in jaw bone loss. Some common forms of tooth and jaw trauma include: teeth knocked out from injury or accident, jaw fractures, or teeth with a history of trauma that may die and lead to bone loss years after the initial trauma.

A bone grafting procedure would be necessary to reverse the effects of bone deterioration, restoring function and promoting new bone growth in traumatized areas.


Misalignment issues can create a situation in the mouth where some teeth no longer have an opposing tooth structure. The unopposed tooth can over-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 the bone is losing stimulation.


Osteomyelitis is a type of bacterial infection in the bone and bone marrow of the jaw. This infection leads to inflammation, which can cause a reduction of blood supply to the bone. Treatment for osteomyelitis generally requires antibiotics and the removal of the affected bone. A bone graft procedure may be required to restore bone function and growth lost during removal.


Benign facial tumors, though generally non-threatening, may grow large and require the removal of a portion of the jaw. Malignant mouth tumors almost always spread into the jaw, requiring the removal of the affected section of the jaw. In both cases, reconstructive bone grafting is usually required to help restore normal function to the jaw. Grafting in patients with malignant tumors may be more challenging because treatment of the cancerous tumor generally requires removal of the surrounding soft tissues as well.

Developmental Deformities

Some conditions or syndromes are characterized by missing portions of the teeth, facial bones, jaw or skull. Dr. Butura may be able to perform a bone graft procedure to restore bone function and growth where it may be absent.

Sinus Deficiencies

When molars are removed from the upper jaw, air pressure from the air cavity in the maxilla (maxillary sinus) causes resorption of the bone that formerly helped keep the teeth in place. As a result, the sinuses become enlarged, a condition called hyperpneumatized sinus.

This condition usually develops over several years and may result in insufficient bone from the placement of dental implants. Dr. Butura can perform a procedure called a “sinus lift” that can treat enlarged sinuses.

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Butura Oral & Dental Implant Surgery

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I went in for an extraction and bone grafting and was in and out in less than 1 hour. This was one of the easiest procedures I have had at a dental office. I would recommend them to anyone.

- John B

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All positive things to say about Dr. Butura and his excellent friendly caring staff, especially Lori, Eileen and Marie:) Every appointment was timely, comfortable and Dr. Butura is thorough and excellent. I highly recommend them, almost sorry my bone graft is completed:)

- Cathy C

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I had both an extraction (tooth broken off into gum) and bone grafting done, with sutures. Dr. Butura carefully explained every step, calming any anxiety. Not only did the whole procedure take less time than expected, but all went smoothly and I did not feel anything. Moreover, I did not have any pain post procedure! A 2 week follow up appointment revealed good healing underway. Previously opposed to implants, I am now seriously considering having a few done. Dr. Butura inspires confidence, he is an excellent oral surgeon!

- Basia L

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Thank you for taking such great care of my sister. She was such a nervous wreck and in pain but her experience was so fast, stress free and Dr. Butura and his team put her at ease and she literally walked out smiling. It doesn't get any better than that! Definitely will recommend the Butura Team to anyone who needs oral surgery.

- M C

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I just had a tooth extracted and bone graft put in a couple days ago. I was very nervous and scared (mostly because of past traumatic experiences at dental offices). I have to say Dr. Butura is an excellent oral surgeon. He not only took the time to learn my symptoms but he also explained the procedure, which gave me a sense of reassurance. I never really felt pain and he made sure I was ok while he was treating me. Dr. Butura's  staff was super nice and friendly to me , thank you Marie for going the extra mile to help me feel comfortable during the procedure. I left his office feeling relieved because my experience here was definitely pleasant and pain free. I also have gotten a couple calls since my visit  from his office to ask me how I am recovering. My pain is very minimal and I am recovering very well. Thank you Dr. Butura for genuinely caring for your patients and being an awsome oral surgeon, and thank you to your awsome staff

- Jessica T

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I required IV sedation for my tooth extraction and bone graft. I am a RN and worked in the OR for many years. Dr Butura was able to start my IV quickly on the first stick without any discomfort and when I woke up, I felt great with no nausea or light headedness. I know I was in very experienced hands and would highly recommend Dr Butura for any oral surgery procedure one might have. This was the best surgery experience I have had and will definitely be returning to Dr Butura for my tooth implant.

- Jean R

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Extremely pleased with my overall experience with Dr Butura, as well as his front and back office staff...they are wonderful! They were very respectful and accommodating in my time of need. I required oral surgery with a bone graft. Everything was explained to me with great detail and all my questions answered. I would, without a doubt reccommend this practice to any of my family or friends. I too, work for a well-known medical practice, and feel Dr Butura and his staff give the utmost attention to detail, care and respect to their same philosophy..."treat people the way you want to be treated". This is certainly what I felt from the moment I walked into their office. This is an excellent oral surgeon...If need be, I would definitely go back. My only complaint is that I cannot give more than five stars for an overall rating! 🙂

- Jan S

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It has been 20 years since I have had a tooth extracted. Then it took hours to recover and days of pain. This time, it was done within a short period of time, using only local anesthesia an with little lingering pain. The graft was quick and the healing is progressing nicely.

- Aaron F

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So remember Tom Hanks in Castaway? He had an infected tooth and tried to remove it with a couple of rocks. I was at that point before seeing Dr Butura. The pain was on a scale of 1 to10 a 25. I saw my primary dentist first and she suggested the tooth could not be saved and referred me to Dr Butura. I had a consultation the next day and confirmed removal and implant was the best alternative. I was scheduled the next morning. We attempted to use a local but the infection prevented it from complete numbing. With out a hitch they put me under, did the extraction, pain gone!! No post complications and I will return for the implant after area heals.

- Roger M

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I was in a lot of pain, and very apprehensive about the work required to deal with it. Dr. Butura could see my discomfort and did an exemplary job of 'talking me off the ledge' in preparation for the work I'd need to do. His nurses, assistants, and office staff were equally friendly and professional. Though I hope I never need his level of skill again (!) if faced with oral surgery, you won't find better than Dr. Butura and his team.

- Dorothy E

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Really one of the more "pleasant" visits to a dental office if there ever really is a pleasant visit haha. Awesome experience and if in the future there are any more work to be done, I wouldn't hesitate to come back. Thanks again! You guys are awesome!

- Alex Y

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Thank you for such positive experience! Oral surgery can be stressful, however, the office staff and Dr. Butura's pleasant demeanor put me at ease.

- Barabara F

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