bone loss

  • What is it?
  • How does bone loss occur?
  • What are the symptoms of bone loss?
  • How do you stop bone loss in the jaw?
  • Prevention

What is it?

When the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth shrinks it can cause teeth to become loose or to drift, creating gaps between teeth. The jawbone can also shrink when a tooth has been lost or removed and not replaced.

How does bone loss occur?

Most often the loss of bone supporting your teeth in your jaw occurs after losing teeth due to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. When plaque bacteria build up on your teeth and gums and are not routinely removed by you or a dental professional the results are gum disease.

Tooth loss is more common in older people but can affect anyone of any age.

Other causes of bone loss are trauma as a result of an accident, smoking, and in rare cases, poor nutrition.

What are the symptoms of bone loss?

If you've noticed your teeth moving, loosening, large gaps forming between teeth, or your gums shrinking, then you could be suffering from bone loss in your jawbone.

Other symptoms can be bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums or gum recession.

How do you stop bone loss in the jaw?

See a dental professional right away if you feel like you're experiencing any of the symptoms of early bone loss in your jaw. With proper periodontal therapy and excellent oral hygiene habits you can arrest gum disease and even regrow some of the bone.

For receding gums there are several treatment options so ask your dental professional what the right one may be for you. There are also solutions for bone loss through dental bone grafts, where an oral surgeon or periodontist attaches other bone material to your jaw to build back bone mass. Depending on the severity of bone loss, dental implants to fill gaps between teeth may be an option.


The best way to prevent gum disease, and in turn, potential bone loss, is to regularly visit your dental professional and maintain good oral hygiene practices. An electric toothbrush can help remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush for stronger teeth and healthier gums. Eating healthy and avoiding smoking can only benefit your oral care as well.