Objective: The purposes of this study were to determine the variation in maxillary and mandibular vertical measurements made from panoramic radiographs and to assess differences in measurements between dentate and edentulous jaws. Method and materials: A total of 192 alveolar ridges (96 dentate and 96 edentulous) were examined. The mean ages of the dentate and edentulous groups were 51.05 and 59.98 years, respectively. Measurements were made from reference lines drawn from anatomic landmarks on standardized panoramic radiographs. Results: In the dentate group, there was no statistically significant difference between men and women in the height of the maxilla. However, the height of the mandible was significantly greater in men than in women. In the edentulous group, the heights of the maxilla at the anterior and first premolar regions were significantly greater in men than in women. In the same group, mandibular heights were also significantly greater in men than in women. Reductions in the height of the edentulous mandible and maxilla were significantly more pronounced in women than in men. The decrease in the vertical height of the maxilla was not statistically significant in men. Conclusion: There are differences between the sexes in alveolar ridge resorption after tooth loss.