The Importance of Teeth for Jaw Bone Health
When one or more teeth are missing, it can lead to jawbone loss at the site of the gap. This loss of jawbone can develop into additional problems, both with your appearance and your overall health. You may experience pain, problems with your remaining teeth, and altered facial appearance, and eventually even the inability to speak and eat normally.
In that same way that muscles are maintained through exercise, bone tissue is maintained by use. Natural teeth are embedded in the jawbone, and stimulate the jawbone through activities such as chewing and biting. When teeth are missing, the alveolar bone, or the portion of the jawbone 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 jawbone, so it deteriorates and goes away.
Potential Consequences of Tooth and Jawbone Loss
- Problems with remaining teeth, including, misalignment, drifting, loosening and loss
- Collapsed facial profile
- Limited lip support
- Skin wrinkling around the mouth
- Distortion of other facial features
- Jaw (temporomandibular joint TMJ) pain, facial pain, and headaches
- Difficulty speaking and communicating
- Inadequate nutrition as a result of the inability to chew properly and painlessly
- Sinus expansion
Related Bone Grafting Articles
Can Dentists Rebuild Bone?
Yes they can! It is very important to maintain bone volume following removal of a tooth so that dental implants remain a viable option for tooth replacement. This is easily accomplished with today's routine bone-grafting techniques… Read Article
Dental Implants – Your Third Set of Teeth
A discovery fifty years ago paved the way for one of dentistry’s most exciting, natural looking and successful tooth replacement systems. Learn how dental implants might just possibly change your life… Read Article
The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth
For those missing even one tooth, an unsightly gap is actually the least significant problem. What’s of far greater concern is the bone loss that inevitably follows tooth loss. Dental implants fused to the jawbone can preserve bone, improve function and enhance psychological well-being. Learn how implants serve both as anchors to support replacement teeth, and preserve bone as one of the better preventive maintenance procedures in dentistry… Read Article