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.

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 or dissolve. 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, food packing and muscle soreness
  • Collapsed facial profile.
  • Limited lip support when front teeth are lost.
  • Skin wrinkling around the mouth with lack of support from teeth.
  • Jaw (temporomandibular joint [TMJ]) soreness, facial pain, and headaches.
  • Difficulty speaking and communicating.
  • Inadequate nutrition as a result of the inability to chew properly.
  • Sinus expansion when upper back teeth are lost.