Cavitation is a common condition, although most people do not know about it. Generally, it refers to a hole that develops in the jawbone and contains dead tissue. The condition is also known in other words as jawbone osteonecrosis. When broken down, “osteo” means relating to bones while “necrosis” refers to a situation where most cells in an organ or tissue die as a result of injury, infection or lack of blood.
Occurrence of Cavitations
A 1996 study on the occurrence of cavitations found that of all the extractions sites assessed, 77% had cavitations. The researchers also found out that the back teeth were the most affected, especially the wisdom teeth, with 90% of the studied found to contain cavitations. The front teeth extraction sites were also affected but not as much as the back ones.
How Oral Surgeries Cause Cavitations
A tooth extraction procedure isn’t always simple and straightforward; sometimes it can be complex and risky. Though little known, one of the risks associated with this surgical procedure is that it can result to cavitations. In fact, a recent study published in 2014 on jawbone osteonecrosis found that oral surgeries were the main cause of 32% of the cases studied.
One of the things that lead to cavitations after oral surgeries is the failure to remove the periodontal ligament. The ligament is what connects the tooth and the bone. If this tissue is left behind, the bone that surrounds it does not register that the tooth no longer exists. Therefore, the jawbone continues to function as if everything is normal and hence does not grow new bone. In addition, blood continues to flow, and this can be a pathway for infections.
The other thing that can causes cavitations during the extraction procedure is the removal of the teeth without treating the underlying problem. In most cases, adult teeth (apart from wisdom teeth) are more than often removed due to a disease, either infection or deep decay. By extracting the tooth, you only address half of the problem and not the entire issue. Therefore, when new tissue grows, it seals the pathogens under it where they multiply and cause cavitations.
Cavitations and Chronic Diseases
In most cases, people do not become aware they have cavitations until they have developed chronic diseases. Research shows that jawbone osteonecrosis can contribute significantly to inflammatory diseases. Different studies have linked cavitations to various health conditions such as cancer, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, and lupus.
Jawbone osteonecrosis can be treated by reopening the extraction site, cleaning it, and disinfecting it. Therapies are also important in the treatment process and can help heal the whole body.
Prevention of Cavitations
Cavitations that occur as a result of oral surgeries can be prevented. One of the ways is by following the biological approach when getting a tooth removal. In this case, let your dentist know about your concerns regarding cavitations and ask him/her to remove the periodontal ligament. Alternatively, you can find a qualified biological dentist who knows the value of this critical procedure, such as Dr. Paige Woods (call 619-359-6569 for a free consultation).