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 jaw bone can develop into additional problems, both with your appearance and your overall health. You may experience difficulty chewing, problems with your remaining teeth, and altered facial appearance.
In the same way that muscles are maintained through exercise, bone tissue is maintained by use. Natural teeth are embedded in the jaw bone and stimulate the jaw bone through activities such as chewing and biting. When teeth are missing, the alveolar bone (tooth sockets), the portion of the jaw bone that anchors the teeth into the mouth, no longer receives the necessary stimulation it needs and begins to break down, or resorb. The body no longer uses or “needs” the jaw bone, so it deteriorates.
Potential Consequences of Tooth and Jaw bone Loss
- Problems with remaining teeth, including misalignment and tooth loss
- Collapsed facial profile
- Limited lip support
- Skin wrinkling around the mouth
- Distortion of other facial features
- Jaw (TMJ or temporomandibular joint) pain and headaches
- Difficulty speaking and communicating
- Poor nutrition as a result of the inability to chew properly and painlessly
- Sinus expansion