Healthy Bones Can Help You Keep Your Teeth

This week marks Bone and Joint Health National Awareness week, which focuses on the prevention and treatment of illnesses such as arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, and similar ailments. While the loss of bone density most commonly affects the hips, wrist, and spine areas, diseases like osteoporosis can also affect the health of your teeth, which are supported by your jawbone. In the spirit of awareness and improved overall health, your San Jose dentist, Dr. Randall LaFrom, explains why healthy bones can improve your chances of retaining your natural teeth.

Your Jawbone–The Foundation of Your Teeth

The part of your tooth that is actually visible, known as the crown, is but a section of your entire tooth. The remainder of it, called the tooth root, extends down through your gums and embeds itself into your jawbone (mandible on the lower adn maxilla on the upper). Chewing stimulates this root, which signals your body to send nutrients to help your jawbone support your teeth. Periodontal (gum) disease works to erode your lower jawbone, along with supporting gum tissue and connective ligaments. However, while gum disease may be the leading cause of adult tooth loss in America, it is not the only illness that can weaken your jawbone. Osteoporosis, for example, may affect any bone in your body, and can also be a cause of jawbone density and tooth loss.

Oral-Systemic Connection–Bones and Teeth

Aside from being supportive, bones share many other similarities with your teeth. For instance, both are formed from the same mineral building blocks. Consequently, they benefit from the same nutrients, including calcium and phosphate. In fact, about 90% of your body’s calcium supply is stored in your bones and teeth. The remaining 10%, however, is responsible for essential functions of the body, including signal transmission along your nervous system and muscle contraction. When your blood calcium levels are low, your body will take calcium from your bones and teeth to cover the slack. Maintaining healthy levels of calcium and other essential nutrients can improve your bone strength as well as help you retain your natural teeth. To learn more about the health of your bones and teeth, schedule a dental consultation with your Dr. LaFrom at our Cupertino dentist office by calling (408) 996-8595. We serve patients from Saratoga, Campbell, Sunnyvale, San Jose, and Santa Clara County.

~ by cupertinodentist on October 16, 2012.

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