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 pain, problems with your remaining teeth, altered facial appearance, and eventually even the inability to speak and/or eat normally.

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, or 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, drifting, loosening, and loss
  • Collapsed facial profile
  • Limited lip support
  • Skin wrinkling around the mouth
  • Distortion of other facial features
  • Jaw (TMJ or temporomandibular joint) pain, facial pain, and headaches
  • Difficulty speaking and communicating
  • Inadequate nutrition as a result of the inability to chew properly and painlessly
  • Sinus expansion

10 Golden Rules to protecting your bones!

Osteoporosis is a disease that damages the bones, weakens them and makes them feel brittle and breakable. There is a significant decrease in bone density, and this causes the bone to weaken and increases the risk of fractures. Our bones are always building and breaking down bone tissue, when the balance between building and breaking is changed, then the bone density goes down. With age, this problem has a horrible way of increasing in occurrence.

Here are 10 Golden Rules for the treatment and prevention of decreasing bone density:

1. Yes, You guessed it – Physical Activity – Besides being the best thing you can do for yourselves, Physical Activity helps the bones become denser by putting pressure on them, which may prevent the disease to begin with. We recommend using weights.

2. Increase Your calcium intake – Good sources: Green leaves, soy, sardines, broccoli and nuts. Regular bovine milk isn’t that good of source of calcium because of its low absorption rate.

3. Increase your Omega 3 intake – These fatty acids can be found in flax seeds or fish: Salmon, cod and halibut – and are essential to keeping your bones strong.

4. Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake – Sorry, but coffee and alcohol release calcium from the bones and damage the hormonal balance in the body important to keeping them strong.

5. Reduce red meat – Seems like we’re taking all the fun out of lunch, but eating red meat actually reduces the absorption of calcium in the body.

6.  No smoking – Cigarette smoke damages bone density.

7. Eat nuts and almonds – These contain magnesium which is essential to the process of absorbing calcium.

8. Get at least 15 minutes of sun exposure a day – Exposing your skin to the sun a few minutes a day is the best way of getting your vitamin D, which function as a sort of glue and helps keep the bone density.

9. Eat sunflower seeds – Contain zinc, a key mineral for maintaining strong bones.

10. Make sure you’re not lacking in these elements, and take according to the professional opinion: Boron, Silicone, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folic acid.

Submitted by Dr. Tal Cohen