It’s high time that you must get a clear idea of the alveolar bone, its functions, and related health concerns. Let’s dig into it!
What is alveolar bone?
The alveolar process, better known as the alveolar bone, is a thick ridge of the bone and consists of tooth sockets. It is present on the jaw bones that carry the function of holding the teeth.
It is the structure that anchors the tooth roots. You have an alveolar process comprised of strong bones for both your upper and lower rows of teeth.
In general, the alveolar bone is located precisely above the upper row of teeth and below the lower row. The upper process is placed under the maxillary sinus, whereas the more inefficient process is situated slightly above the jawbone.
In addition to connecting your teeth to your jawbone, the alveolar process is essential to your teeth’s arrangement and periodontal ligament’s function (PDL). Due to its specific structure, the alveolar process can endure the stress exerted in the mouth by chewing.
Structure of the alveolar bone
The alveolar bone is a ridge on the maxilla located on the inner surface. And it is a ridge on the audible, situated in the superior option.
It consists of the thickest part of the maxillae. The alveolar bone contains a region of compact bone, and it is adjacent to the PDL or the periodontal ligament. The alveolar bone also consists of a supporting bone, both of which comprise the same constituents. It includes intercellular substances, nerves, fibers, cells, blood vessels, and lymphatics.
Composition of the alveolar bone
The following are the constituents of the alveolar bone.
- Inorganic matrix
The alveolar bone comprises 67% of inorganic material, depending on its weight. The inorganic material mainly consists of calcium and phosphate, and the mineral content is in the form of calcium hydroxyapatite crystals.
- Organic matrix
The remaining part of the alveolar bone consists of 33% organic material. It includes both collagen and non-collagenous substances. The cellular constituents include osteoblasts, osteocytes, and osteoclasts.
The primary function of the alveolar bone
The fundamental function of the alveolar bone is housing and supporting the teeth through the alveoli of the teeth. It also supports the teeth through the periodontal fibers. Because of the alveolar bones, you can perform different oral functions, like chewing, swallowing, and phonation.
In addition, the alveolar bone is also responsible for protecting the nerves and the vessels that carry out the circulation function. Another essential role of the alveolar bone is being a calcium reservoir because it consists of mineral salts, such as calcium.
Lastly, the bone marrow of the alveolus takes part in the process of hematopoietic activity, which is the formation of blood cells throughout our body.
How is the alveolar bone related to our tooth health?
There’s no doubt that your alveolar process is an essential aspect of your anatomy for oral health and tooth stability. Oral experts state that it can uniquely react to the eruption of teeth from the gums. These crucial structures develop around the teeth and the periodontal ligament (PDL), expanding according to the number of teeth that have erupted.
Did you know that your teeth continue to migrate and erupt throughout your life? Even though it is widely believed that this process ceases after all your adult teeth have emerged.
Because your alveolar process is so adaptable, a portion of it reabsorbs after tooth extraction, as it lacks a supporting framework. For this reason, seeking dental treatment after tooth loss or extraction is essential to avoid irreversible oral alterations. They may propose implants to alleviate the alterations brought on by tooth loss. The alveolar process must have the sufficient bone density to sustain dental implants.
Therefore, to maintain optimal health of the alveolar process, it is essential to prevent gum disease through regular dental hygiene. Advanced periodontal disease may cause permanent bone damage and impair its function. Since the alveolar bone is a crucial part of our teeth anatomy, knowing about its functions and maintenance will help you take better care of it.