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


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. The body no longer uses or “needs” the jawbone, so it deteriorates and goes away.

Potential Consequences of Tooth Loss and Jawbone Health

  • 1Problems with remaining teeth, including, misalignment, drifting, loosening and loss
  • 2Collapsed facial profile
  • 3Limited lip support
  • 4Skin wrinkling around the mouth
  • 5Distortion of other facial features
  • 6Jaw (temporomandibular joint [TMJ]) pain, facial pain, and headaches
  • 7Difficulty speaking and communicating
  • 8Inadequate nutrition as a result of the inability to chew properly and painlessly
  • 9Sinus expansion

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