5 Common Causes of Bone Loss in Teeth

Bone loss in teeth is common and can happen to anyone, regardless of age. It occurs in the bone surrounding your tooth starts to resorb and shrink. As a result, your teeth become loose and start moving. Chewing and biting with natural teeth helps stimulate bone growth. Hence, when the tooth is no longer there, it can cause the bone to decompose or resorb. Therefore, bone loss can also affect and reach our jawbone and gums.

Symptoms of Bone Loss in Teeth

People suffering from a dental bone loss might experience the following symptoms:

  • Loose teeth
  • Swollen and bleeding gums
  • Sharp or intense pain
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Foul breath
  • Gum recession
  • Gaps forming in teeth

Bone Loss in Teeth Causes

Common factors that contribute to tooth bone loss include:

  1. Tooth Extraction
    Natural teeth are required not just for smiling but also for other functions like chewing and biting. They help us eat, speak, and much more. But, one of the most important aspects of natural teeth’s functions is that it helps stimulate bone growth. Thus, if a tooth is removed, it can lead to bone loss. When a tooth is extracted without replacement, that area has no stimulation. As a result, that portion of the jawbone starts to deteriorate.
  2. Gum Disease
    Gum disease is another common reason for bone loss in teeth. Brushing and flossing regularly remove plaque from between teeth and gum line. However, ignoring oral hygiene maintenance can turn plaque into a hard, porous substance called tartar. Tartar can irritate the gums, making them red, swollen, and inflamed, along with bleeding. This is a sign of gingivitis, a gum disease. If bleeding gums are ignored, then the gums can reach a severe stage of gum disease, periodontitis. As a result, gum tissue and bone that our teeth are attached to start deteriorating, loosening the teeth. To conclude, gum disease and infections can lead to dental bone loss.
  3. Trauma or Injury
    A sports injury can often result in knocked out, cracked, or chipped teeth. Jaw fractures are also a risk for athletes. Trauma or injury that knocks out your tooth can result in a lack of stimulation required for bone growth. You won’t have a tooth to chew or bite, which can lead to bone loss.
  4. Misalignment of Teeth
    TMJ, wisdom tooth eruption, and wear and tear of teeth can all affect the chewing and biting function. The teeth stop providing direct stimulation as the opposing tooth structure is misaligned. This means lack of direct stimulation gradually leads to bone loss in teeth.
  5. Dentures & Bridgework
    Loose dentures are attached on top of the gum line, relying on the current bone structure to secure them. Dentures fail to provide the necessary stimulation; over time, they can cause trouble eating and speaking. Eventually, the bone starts to resorb, and the dentures can no longer be held in place.
    Bridgework-supported dentures can provide adequate stimulation as they use adjacent teeth. However, the portion where the bridge spans have missing natural teeth and no direct stimulation. Consequently, you might observe a gradual bone loss in teeth if this problem is left unaddressed.


Bone loss in teeth can occur for many reasons like tooth extraction, gum disease, trauma or injury to teeth, misaligned teeth, and dentures. Your dentist can treat tooth bone loss depending on what caused it. They might suggest bone grafting, composite bonding, or other suitable treatments. Meanwhile, you can prevent it by having a good oral hygiene routine, a nutritious diet, and practicing healthy habits. At SIMA Family Dental, we offer gum disease treatments and more. Just dial 281-457-6444 for any tooth-related issues you are facing.

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