In maintaining sound oral health, your teeth and your jawbone share a symbiotic relationship. The strength, functionality, and health of one greatly depend on the other. This relationship is of particular importance for aging patients who may face dental health issues like tooth loss, gum disease, or osteoporosis affected jawbone density. Here at St. Louis South Oral Surgery in St. Louis and Festus, MO, we understand the importance of how teeth and your jawbone work together, thus we offer expert oral surgery procedures to support and enhance this crucial relationship.
Understanding Structure of Teeth and Your Jawbone Structure
To appreciate the relationship between teeth and your jawbone, it’s necessary to first understand their structure and individual roles.
- Teeth: Consist of roots, which are embedded in the jawbone, and crowns, which are the visible parts of the tooth used for chewing. Teeth, besides serving critical facial structure and aesthetic functions, play essential roles in speech, breaking down food for digestion, and maintaining gum and jawbone health.
- Jawbone: Also known as the mandible (lower jaw) or maxilla (upper jaw), the jawbone houses the teeth and supports facial muscles which facilitate chewing and speaking. It also gives shape to the lower part of the face.
How Teeth and Jawbone Interact
- Stimulating Bone Growth: The constant pressure exerted by teeth on the jawbone when you chew and bite stimulates bone growth and remodeling, keeping it dense and strong.
- Preventing Bone Loss: Teeth roots embedded in the jawbone hold it intact, thus preventing bone loss. Once a tooth is lost, the jawbone in that area begins to shrink, affecting facial aesthetics and possibly leading to further dental health issues.
- Maintaining Tooth Alignment: A healthy jawbone provides a stable base for teeth, maintaining their alignment. When the jawbone weakens or shrinks, teeth may shift, leading to issues like bite problems.
Implications for Aging Patients
Aging presents increased risks to the health and interactions of teeth and your jawbone.
- Tooth Loss: With age, teeth become more vulnerable to decay, gum disease, and damage, increasing the risk of tooth loss. Besides affecting facial aesthetics and functions like chewing and speaking, tooth loss can lead to jawbone shrinkage and weakening.
- Osteoporosis: This age-related disease leads to reduced bone density and strength, which can also affect the jawbone. A weakened jawbone may lead to tooth loss and other dental health issues like gum disease.
- Dry Mouth: Saliva protects teeth against bacteria and aids digestion. However, aging and certain medications can lead to dry mouth, increasing the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease.
At St. Louis South Oral Surgery, our expert oral surgery procedures can address these issues, including procedures like dental implants to replace lost teeth and maintain jawbone health.
How Dental Procedures Support Teeth and Jawbone Interactions
At St. Louis South Oral Surgery, we offer a range of procedures aimed at supporting the relationship between your teeth and your jawbone.
- Dental Implants: These provide a much-needed solution for tooth loss. By replacing both the root and the visible portion of the tooth, dental implants mimic the function of natural teeth, helping to maintain or even restore jawbone density.
- Bone Grafts: In cases where the jawbone has already suffered significant degeneration, we can perform a bone graft to rebuild the bone, providing a sturdy base for dental implants or other restorative procedures.
- Jawbone Surgery: If the jawbone is misaligned or underdeveloped, oral surgery can bring it back to proper alignment, enhancing its ability to support teeth and maintain oral health functions.
Taking care of your teeth and jawbone is essential for good oral health, especially as you age. At St. Louis South Oral Surgery, we’re committed to educating our patients on this integral relationship, providing expert oral surgery procedures to maintain and enhance it and to ensure your overall oral health.
To make an appointment, contact us today. Read reviews and more at St. Louis South Oral Surgery’s Google Business Profile in St. Louis and Festus.