If you’re like most people, you don’t give your jawbone too much thought — until it bothers you. But this important bone isn’t just part of the framework for your face, a place for your pearly whites, or what helps you chew. It plays an important role in your health.
Although it’s often overlooked, your jawbone is the cornerstone of facial structure and dental health. Understanding the significance of this body part is the first step toward taking better care of it.
At Dental Studios in Summit and Westfield, New Jersey, our dental providers aren’t just experts in oral hygiene; they’re advocates for comprehensive oral health. This includes your jawbone! Here’s why your jawbone matters and our top tips for keeping this important bone healthy and strong.
Why is the jawbone important?
A healthy jawbone helps keep your teeth aligned and functional, so you can chew, talk, and use your mouth normally. It’s what gives your face shape and supports your facial features. When you have a healthy jawbone, it’s easier to maintain the natural contours of your face and slow sagging skin, helping keep your appearance more youthful.
When your jawbone isn’t healthy, it can affect your ability to speak clearly and chew food effectively. A compromised jawbone can create difficulties with speech and nutrition.
This major bone is also an indicator of your overall oral health, offering your Dental Studios provider insight into the condition of your mouth. For example, if you’re experiencing bone loss in your jaw, it can be a sign of an underlying issue, like periodontal or gum disease.
Gum disease has strong links to your overall physical health, with studies showing connections between it and serious conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Brain diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Pregnancy complications
Your jawbone health helps your dentist identify issues early, protecting your oral health and overall health.
Can I do anything to keep my jawbone healthy?
Absolutely! Your jawbone responds to health-promoting strategies just as the rest of your body does, and in most cases, the steps you can take are practical and actionable, meaning you can begin today.
Here are our top tips for protecting the health of your jawbone:
1. Focus on good oral health
It all starts with the basics. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and regular dental checkups are essential. These oral health practices prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to jawbone deterioration.
2. Eat for bone health
Like the rest of your bones, your jawbone needs nutrients to stay strong. Calcium and vitamin D are key to excellent bone health. Include dark leafy greens and fortified foods in your diet, and talk to your provider about taking a supplement.
Phosphorus, found in nuts and beans, works with calcium to bolster bone strength. Try to avoid foods and drinks that block calcium absorption, like beer, cheeses, and salty snacks.
3. Avoid harmful habits
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can significantly impair bone health. Quitting smoking and moderating your alcohol intake can prevent jawbone loss and improve other oral health issues, too.
4. Protect your jaw
If you play sports, clench your jaw, or grind your teeth at night, consider talking to your Dental Studios provider about a mouthguard. Trauma and excessive pressure can harm your jawbone, and a mouthguard can be an effective protective measure.
5. See your dentist
Regular visits to Dental Studios are a crucial step in protecting the health of your jawbone. Your provider can examine your jaw, identify early signs of problems, like TMJ, and recommend treatments to prevent deterioration, like dental implants.
Your provider can also show you how to exercise your jaw muscles, which help your jawbone open and close correctly when you use your mouth. These simple exercises involve stretching and holding different positions.
Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Dental Studios to get more personalized jawbone health tips from your provider. Your jawbone matters, and we’re happy to help you keep it healthy.