What Causes Teeth to Fall Out?

Dreaming that your teeth are falling out is often interpreted as a sign that you’re afraid of getting older. However, it can actually happen when you are young as well. 

Nearly everyone experiences teeth falling out at the end of childhood when baby teeth drop out and adult teeth come through. However, it can also happen a second time in adulthood and, when it does, there are no additional teeth waiting in the gums to take their place. 

Generally speaking, there are four reasons why teeth can fall out. We discuss them below and what you can do about it. 

Gum Disease

models of false teeth

Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss. Also called periodontal disease, it occurs when bacteria work their way under the gum and then settle in and cause an infection.

In many cases, you can go to the dentist and get them to clean out the pocket of gum that’s broken away from the tooth. In some instances, this can clean it up and allow the surrounding tissue to heal. However, it doesn’t always work. Gum pockets are notoriously difficult to close, meaning that the infection comes back again. Eventually bacteria break down the tooth’s support in the jawbone, necessitating removal. 


Another popular cause of tooth loss is cavities. Most people have experienced at least one of these in their life and know the discomfort and pain that it can bring.

In many cases, teeth can be saved if you catch the cavity early enough. Dentists can clean it out and then fill it to prevent bacteria from growing in the gap. However, in some cases, the tooth requires full removal.

Even if that happens, though, it doesn’t mean that you need to walk around toothless. Even the cheapest dental implants can replace the functionality of any teeth that you lose. 



Trauma and accidents – particularly while playing sports – is another leading cause of tooth loss. Severe knocks can eject teeth from their sockets instantaneously. 

The good news is that, in most situations, dentists can actually put them back. Over time, the gum will re-fuse around the tooth, holding it in position again. 

If your tooth does get knocked out, be sure not to touch the root as this can lead to infection later on. Dentists sometimes recommend that you store it in milk before you arrive so that it remains clean during transit. If you’ve had a tooth knocked out, you’ll need to get emergency dental care quickly. You can’t wait. 

Whole Body Health Problems

Lastly, whole body health problems are a leading cause of tooth loss. What’s strange about these is that they don’t appear to have anything to do with the mouth directly, but can still impact it anyway.

For instance, if you have a poor diet, high blood pressure or diabetes, you are at a much higher risk of tooth loss. The same goes for people who smoke or who have diabetes. To find out how you can lower your risk, stop bad habits and speak to your doctor.


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