Your teeth and jawbones allow you to bite and chew food so your body can absorb essential nutrients. Therefore, your health depends on how teeth and jaws work together. Read on to find out more about the relationship between your jawbone and your teeth.
The Structure of Your Teeth
Your natural teeth are made of a bone-like substance called enamel and are attached to your upper and lower jawbones by small sockets referred to as dental alveoli. They’re anchored in place by strong fibers known as periodontal ligaments. A normal adult should have 32 teeth – 16 in the lower jaw and 16 in the upper jaw.
What Role Does Your Jawbone Play?
Your skull comprises several plate-like bones, including your upper jawbone (maxilla) and lower jawbone (mandible). These bones hold your teeth with the help of gums. Your upper jawbone is fixed firmly to your skull, but the mandible isn’t. It’s attached to your temporal bones at the temporal joints on either side of your head, enabling it to swing.
Your lower jawbone moves up and down to take a bite. Your jawbones are essential in ensuring your natural teeth’ longevity. If your jawbones aren’t strong enough, your teeth will become loose over time and eventually fall out. So, even though your teeth are meant to wear out over time, you can prolong their lifespan by keeping your jawbones healthy.
Since you can’t clean your jaw bone regularly like your teeth, you need to ensure that your jawbones get enough stimulation every day. The same way you keep your muscles vital and strong through regular exercises, your jawbones are maintained through everyday use. Since your teeth are embedded in your jawbones, they send stimulation to the bone tissue through ordinary activities like chewing and biting.
When you lose your teeth, the alveolar bone, which anchors your teeth into your mouth, doesn’t receive the necessary stimulation, causing it to resorb and break down. This happens because your body interprets the lack of motivation as meaning that it no longer needs the bone and, therefore, breaks it down instead of regenerating it. Thus, your jawbones and teeth rely on each other to survive.