What Causes Bone Loss Around Teeth?

by | Jun 20, 2023 | Blog Posts

bone loss in teeth

If you’re currently experiencing increased tooth sensitivity, bleeding gums, or loose teeth, you may be experiencing periodontitis which may result in bone loss around your teeth. Bone loss around teeth can occur for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments that your dentist may suggest. It’s essential to address these issues promptly; symptoms can continue to worsen without treatment.

What Is Bone Loss Around Teeth?

Dental bone loss is when the bone that supports the teeth begins to shrink, leading to oral health issues. Bone loss can occur for a variety of reasons. In some cases, it is the result of an infection like periodontitis. In others, it arises from habits like smoking.

Symptoms of Bone Loss

You must identify and address bone loss as soon as possible to avoid further complications and receive effective treatment. In particular, you should keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Jaw pain
  • Pain when chewing
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • New gaps in teeth

As bone loss continues to advance, symptoms can worsen. This often results in shifting your facial structure, wrinkles around the mouth, and sinking lips. To avoid these complications, make sure to contact your dentist as soon as you notice one or more of the above symptoms.

Causes of Dental Bone Loss

Bone loss can occur for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • Gum disease (periodontitis)
  • Dental trauma
  • Smoking or other tobacco use
  • Poor nutrition
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Missing teeth

Periodontitis is the leading cause of bone loss in teeth. The condition is an infection of the gums that often begins with mild symptoms, such as irritation and swelling of the gums. However, if it progresses, periodontitis can eventually become advanced enough to cause gum recession and degradation of the supporting bone.1

Treatment for Dental Bone Loss

If you learn you’re suffering from dental bone loss, there’s no need to panic. Several treatments are available to potentially slow, stop, or even reverse this condition. The treatment best suited for you will be based on the cause of your bone loss. That said, it will most likely be one of the following:

Periodontal Care

If your bone loss is caused by gum disease, then your dentist will offer periodontal therapy. They will perform a scaling and root planing, which helps to deep clean the infected areas and reattach gum tissue. Your dentist may also provide some topical or oral antibiotics.

Tooth Replacement

Your teeth roots stimulate bone growth in your jaw. When a tooth is lost, the stimulation of the bone is lost as well. Bone loss can occur as a consequence. Replacing your tooth with a dental implant can give the jawbone the stimulation it needs.

Lifestyle Changes

Smoking is a common cause of bone loss. Therefore, your dentist will likely suggest you stop smoking as a potential treatment.

Diet Changes

Calcium and vitamin D both promote bone growth. Thus, if your diet lacks these elements, it may contribute to bone loss in your teeth. To get the needed vitamins, it may be necessary to make some changes to your diet.

Bone Grafting

A bone grafting procedure may be necessary in extreme cases of dental bone loss. It is a dental surgery that can help reverse some of the bone loss.

Experiencing Symptoms of Bone Loss Around Your Teeth?

If you believe you are suffering from bone loss, don’t hesitate. Contact Empire Dental Care today to schedule an appointment and address the issue. Give us a call at 585-671-1650.



[1] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16620-periodontitis


Dr. Cohen has been practicing dentistry in private and public settings for over 10 years, completing her DMD degree in 2010 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Committed to providing dental care of the highest level, Dr. Cohen relocated to Rochester in 2016 to pursue advanced dental trainings at the Dental Urgent Care Fellowship at The University of Rochester, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, graduating in 2017, and the AEGD Residency program in 2019. She recently completed an additional advanced General Practice Residency program at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany NY. This summer she moved back to Rochester with her husband Kevin, a native Rochesterian, to be closer to family. Throughout her career and personal life, Dr. Cohen has shown her genuine compassion and care to people and patients from all walks of life. She volunteered in underserved areas, practiced in clinics for patients with complex special needs, and treated medically compromised patients among others. She also taught and mentored other dentists and students helping them achieve their professional and personal goals. Most of all, Dr. Cohen’s warm personality and love of people create a welcoming, comfortable feeling for both patients and staff.