“You have some bone loss around those two teeth” can be a scary thing to hear. Dental bone loss happens when the bone supporting your teeth shrinks. Bone loss must be treated because that bone loss may result in tooth loss. Dental bone loss is a result of periodontal disease, and type 2 diabetes, or osteoporosis can help worsen the damage. Other risk factors for bone loss are poor dental hygiene, smoking, infection, poor diet, hormonal changes, and genetics.

Luckily, dental bone loss can be treated. Many times it is as simple as improving one’s mouth care routine at home. There are non-surgical methods of treatment. These include antibiotics, medicated mouthwashes, or scaling & root planing (deep, below the gum level, professional teeth & root cleaning made more comfortable with local anesthetic). If oral hygiene and non-surgical methods of treatment are not effective, then surgical methods may help. These methods include flap surgery or bone & tissue grafts.

Remember to do your best to avoid periodontal disease: quit smoking, eat a healthy diet, brush twice per day, floss & rinse every day, and see your dental professional regularly for cleanings and check ups.

Also, if your gums bleed when you brush for more than two weeks, you may have bone loss. If so, contact and visit your dental professional promptly for evaluation and treatment at the earlier stages when treatment is most effective.

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