Since bones are very strong, most people think that they are a permanent fixture in our bodies. However, the truth is that bone just like every other part of the body, is made up of living cells. These cells are in a constant cycle of change.
Bone resorption is a complex bodily process that results in the loss of the bone or its shrinkage. Although they are quite solid, bones are in a constant state of growth and resorption. Through a constant process of bone remodeling, bone cells called osteoblasts take care of building up the bone, and osteoclasts break down the bone.
In the mouth, the most likely candidate for this phenomenon is usually the jaw bone. Given its placement and constitution, it is likely the be resorbed into the body for a few reasons.
Although most people think that the gums are entirely responsible for holding the teeth in place, they are simply soft tissue. The main player in this process is the jaw bone. Teeth's roots tend to go inside the bone for additional support. As for the jaw bone, constant stimuli brought about by teeth indicate to the bone that it's needed there and therefore reinforces it when need be. When teeth are missing, however, the stimulus goes away and the body calls on the osteoclast cells to reabsorb the bone back to the body. These cells break the bone down into phosphorus and calcium and then releasing it into the bloodstream.
Dentures are also hugely responsible for accelerated bone resorption. Every time you clench your teeth or bite down, you place some pressure on the ridges thereby contributing to the immense bone loss. Although when they are properly fitted, it's rare to see such an occurrence. However, if you feel that something is not right and ignore it, you might end up with a severely reabsorbed bone, which will also lead to the collapse of a portion of your face.
Since these matters can be a bit delicate, it's important to always involve our office in the whole process. It might seem insignificant, but the intervention of a professional can save you a lot of trouble later on.