The Importance of Teeth for Jaw Bone Health
When one or more teeth are missing, it can lead to bone 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. Eventually, in severe cases, even the inability to speak clearly and eat normally become normal to those individuals suffering from this ailment.
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 preservation of bone 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 bone, so it deteriorates and melts 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 (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