Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 24, 2002
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Hi. Quick question.

Can you tell me if bone loss causes gum disease, or if gum disease causes bone loss.

(I hope that question makes sense. I am PRE-menopause and am trying to determine if the cause of a couple areas where my gums are starting to recede is the result of osteopenia/porisis, or the beginnings of gum disease. I know someone with wicked gum disease (where her gums were receding and her teeth were literally falling out) that does not have low bone density (osteoporosis). As for me, I have a couple areas where my gums are receding, but I don't have inflamed, swollen gums, or loose teeth, etc. hmmmm The more I try to figure this all out, the more confused I am getting. {sigh}

I would really appreciate anyone's opinion on this. Thank you!

(This link has further info, if the above isn't sufficient. Thanks.)


Class '04 official geezer
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2002
Queens, NY

In most cases it's gum disease that causes bone loss in the jaws. Most common is chronic periodontitis. Plaque and calculus accumulating on tooth surfaces, acting as a constant source of bacteria and toxins, causes inflammation and breakdown of the gums and eventually the teeth-supporting bone underneath. This can be exacerbated by smoking by the way.

There is ongoing research that is trying to determine whether or not osteoporosis can actually be a risk factor for gum disease (i.e. the other way around), but I think it is not conclusive yet.
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