How to Prevent Dental Bone Loss: Preventing Bone Loss in Teeth

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Tooth loss is often accompanied by bone loss. It can happen to anyone irrespective of age and gender. But there are a few ways to prevent bone loss from worsening.

How to Prevent Dental Bone Loss

Keep reading to learn more about the signs and symptoms of bone loss, what you can do to prevent it, and treatment options to fix your lost bone structure.

What is dental bone loss?

Bone loss or bone resorption can happen in the mouth when the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth in your jaw shrinks as a result of oral diseases or trauma. This weakening of the alveolar bone (jaw bone) can cause the tooth to loosen, move, or spread out.

Our natural teeth help stimulate the growth of the alveolar bone. They preserve the bone mass by chewing and biting.

In the off-chance that you’re missing a tooth, the bone no longer receives stimulation, causing shrinkage and disintegration of the bone in a process called resorption.

What Causes Bone Loss?

There are many causes of bone loss including the following:

Gum disease: Periodontitis occurs when gum irritation and swelling form deep pockets between your gums and teeth. Periimplantitis happens when gum inflammation surrounds a dental implant. Both cases of gum disease can result in bone loss.

Bone loss due to periodontal disease occurs when the bacteria in your mouth gradually reduces your underlying jawbone.

Missing teeth: More often than not, bone loss occurs following a tooth extraction or loss. Missing teeth can contribute to bone depletion because the bone no longer receives stimulation to remain at a certain height or mass. 

Reports suggest that 25% of the surrounding bone is lost in the first year of losing a tooth. It will continue to wear away after this.

Poor Oral Hygiene: Excessive and prolonged plaque accumulation on the tooth surfaces leads to bone loss. You must maintain proper dental health and prevent plaque from accumulating on your teeth.

Osteoporosis and Other Medical Conditions: Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease characterized by the reduction in bone density and mass or the micro-architectural changes in the structure of the bone. One of the most common causes of rapid bone loss in the jaws is osteoporosis.


In this condition, the bones become brittle and break easily. Data indicates that there is a greater chance of losing alveolar bone in people who have osteoporosis. This is further aggravated by preexisting conditions like periodontitis.

Facial injury: Trauma or irritation of the facial bone structure can change the activity of bone cells. This may also result in progressive loss of facial bones and depletion of bone mineral density.

Symptoms of Bone Loss

Patients affected by dental bone loss can suffer any of these symptoms:

  • Loose teeth 
  • Mobile or shifting teeth
  • Receding or shrinking gums
  • Gum disease
  • Changes in bite and jaw alignment
  • Discomfort when chewing
  • Lips that sink inward
  • Headaches, facial pain, and jaw pain
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Bad breath

In addition to dental health-related problems, bone loss can lead to a decline of one’s quality of life. You may experience:

  • Premature wrinkling around your mouth
  • Thinning of lips
  • Sunken face
  • Difficulty eating and speaking
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Loss of confidence

How to slow down bone loss in teeth 

 For periodontal disease, you should get proper periodontal therapy and combine it with good home oral hygiene to eradicate the disease.

To prevent the loss of teeth, you should keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean. This calls for a strict oral hygiene regimen.

Any lost bone can be regenerated through regenerative grafting to support bone health and keep your teeth in place.

Finally, all missing teeth can be replaced using dental implants.

Treatments for bone loss around your teeth

Treatments for bone loss around your teeth

Effective bone loss treatments include the following:

Dental bone grafting: For patients with significant bone loss, dentists may recommend a dental surgery procedure called bone grafting. In this procedure, the lost bone structure is surgically replaced with a suitable graft taken from other parts of the patient’s body.

The graft bone helps the jaw regenerate new bone cells. Over time, the jawbone may have adequate bone height and mass to receive tooth replacement treatments like dental implants.

Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR): Guided bone regeneration is a surgical procedure where small defects around dental implants are reconstructed using barrier membranes and a bone graft. The membrane acts like a framework to protect the bone graft.

Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR): Guided tissue regeneration is similar to guided bone regeneration. One difference is that for GTR, only a membrane is needed to stimulate the growth of new bone affected by periodontal disease

Furthermore, GTR helps regenerate both hard and soft tissues while GBR only focuses on restoring hard tissues like bone.

Replacing missing teeth with implant: Dentists recommend you replace any missing teeth once your bone is strong enough to support an implant. A dental implant is a permanent titanium post that is surgically placed below the gum line to mimic the stimulation produced by natural tooth roots.

Gingivitis treatment: For plaque formed below the gum surface, dentists conduct a deep cleaning method called scaling and root planing. In this procedure, the root surfaces of the tooth are cleaned with a special dental device and polished to prevent bacteria from sticking to it.

How to prevent bone loss in the jaw

Prevention is always better than cure which is why good oral care at home and regular dental visits are important to avert bone loss. 

Brushing Flossing

Some steps to prevent bone loss in the jaw are:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque and prevent bone from depleting around the teeth.
  • Floss twice every day to get rid of residual plaque and food debris between the teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Go for regular dental cleanings to prevent gum disease. Deep cleaning every 6 months helps to prevent tartar formation and gum disease.
  • Chronic stress and depression have been linked to periodontal disease. Try meditating and breathing exercises to relieve stress. Also, consider going to therapy.
  • Vitamin D is essential in improving bone health. Incorporate vitamin D and calcium in your diet through foods and supplements.
  • Avoid smoking or tobacco products as they can deplete your jawbone.
  • Include foods and beverages that strengthen the bones and teeth. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends including the following in your diet:
    • Dairy products like milk, cheese, and plain yogurt;
    • Sardines and salmon with bones;
    • Green leafy vegetables like spinach;
    • Tomatoes and red peppers;
    • Fruits like papayas, pineapples, bananas, and oranges.

Importance of proper oral health to stop bone loss

You must maintain good dental care and dental hygiene to be able to prevent tooth and bone loss. If you’re suffering from bone loss, you should talk to a dental professional before it progresses.


Can you reverse bone loss around teeth naturally?

No, bone loss cannot be reversed. However, you can stop current bone tissue loss and prevent further bone loss by practicing good oral hygiene habits. You can also receive treatments to stimulate bone growth.

How can I improve my bone health?

Maintaining good oral health is essential to bone health. If you observe the effects of bone around your teeth, you can better your oral care habits by inculcating a proper diet plan. Avoid over-brushing and limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks.

Can bone resorption cause tooth loss?

Advanced dental loss of bone can cause you to lose a tooth. This happens because the bones supporting your tooth roots deplete, causing your existing teeth to loosen and fall out over time. Any lost bone can be reconstructed with graft surgeries.

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