Why Do Cavitations Form?
Approximately 200 million Americans are missing at least a tooth.
Once a tooth is lost, most individuals believe that the entire tooth was removed, and in many cases, this is true. However, sometimes the soft tissue or bacteria associated with the tooth can create a barrier or a void in jaw bone healing. These voids in the jaw, called cavitations can cause issues with restoring the site in the future.
When removing teeth, it is common to just pull the tooth, place a gauze over the site, and leave the body to cope with the trauma. However, removal of the soft tissue surrounding the tooth is critical as well. The periodontal ligament (PDL) are strong bands of fibrous tissue that attach teeth to the surrounding jawbone.
Usually, these ligaments are removed to a large enough degree along with the tooth, but sometimes enough fragments are left behind to cause cavitations. These voids in the bone, can develop into persistent inflammation (1), infections (2), cysts (3), and even avascular bony spaces (1) (4) (5). Extractions are not the only cause of cavitations. Deep tooth infections or recurrent infections around root canal treated teeth can lead to issues with jaw healing.