Every system in your body relies on another system in some way; everything is interconnected. When something bad happens somewhere in your body, there is a ripple effect that takes place. Some systems are more closely linked than others. The systems inside your mouth are very closely linked, so if you lose a tooth, your jawbone suffers a great deal. You see, your jawbone relies on the tactile feedback that your teeth provide when you chew and while your jaw is at rest. When your jawbone is stimulated by your teeth, it is encouraged to stay healthy. When a tooth is lost, the bone that once supported it no longer receives tactile feedback. Soon, the bone in your jaw will begin to atrophy, and you will start to lose bone mass.
While tooth loss is a common cause of bone loss, there are other ways that bone loss in the jaw can occur. Gum disease can have a seriously negative effect on the bone in the jaw. The same bacteria that live in your mouth and cause cavities is what is responsible for gum disease. Those who suffer from advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, risk serious loss of both soft tissue in the mouth and the bone in their jaw. Periodontitis is an infection of the gums and can have dire consequences for your mouth.