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 defect. This loss of the jawbone can cause additional problems, both with your appearance and your overall health. You may experience pain, problems with your remaining teeth, an altered facial appearance, and eventually even the inability to function normally.
In the same way that muscles are maintained through exercise, bone tissue is maintained by use. Natural teeth are embedded in the jawbone, and help to 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 deteriorate, or resorb.
Potential Consequences of Tooth and Jawbone Loss
- Problems with the remaining teeth, including misalignment, drifting and mobility
- A collapsed facial profile
- Reduced lip support
- Wrinkling skin around the mouth
- Distortion of other facial features
- Jaw joint (temporomandibular joint or TMJ) pain, facial pain, headaches
- Difficulty in speaking and communicating
- Reduced nutrition as a result of the inability to function properly
- Maxillary sinus expansion