Bone Loss in the Jaw: What is it and Prevention Tips


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 and pockets underneath the gums. The jawbone will shrink and weaken 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 builds up on your teeth and gums and is not routinely removed by you or your professional, it can lead to gum disease.

Gum disease 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 some signs that may indicate 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 around your teeth or in your jawbone.

How do you stop bone loss in your jaw?

See a dental professional right away if you feel like you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of early bone loss around your teeth or jaw. With proper periodontal therapy (scaling and root planning) 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 is for you. Depending on the severity of bone loss dental implants to fill gaps between teeth may be an option.


The best way to prevent bone loss is to remember to maintain good brushing and flossing habits. A good electric toothbrush with a small round head can help remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush, which may be a helpful preventative measure against bone loss and related issues.