There are several causes for cavitation but it is often provoked by a previous dental treatment like dental extractions or chronic infection from failed root canals, impacted wisdom teeth, non-vital teeth. Odontogenic cysts can be one of the causes. Causes & risk factors more specifically associated with jawbone-based osteonecrosis include certain medications, long-term alcohol use, injury or increased bone pressure, gum disease, heavy smoking, and low oral doses of bisphosphonates, which are used in the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis. Cavitations can also be related as a risk factor to osteoporosis, bone dysplasia, or after radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The latter being less frequent as compared to the former causes.
Let’s take tooth extraction as an example. When a tooth is extracted, periodontal fibers that are responsible for holding the teeth in the socket are now detached. If there was a pre-existing infection & socket debridement was neglected, the result is the incomplete filling of the bone which impedes healing, and leaves an empty space in the bone.