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Bone loss in early 20s. Is it too late?



Junior member
Dec 20, 2022
United Kingdom
Long post, I ramble a lot when I'm nervous

I've posted once here before but I've had a lot of dental problems from physical trauma since I was a child
But recently, my teeth were scaled (after a few years of not going, combination of pre-occupied with other serious health problems with my stomach and COVID shutting things down)

The gums on my bottom front teeth apparently were 'very bad' and they have lots of massive gaps like my gum was a straight line. But it's been a month since the scaling and the gaps between my teeth have gone very little and are triangular shaped again. Not sure if this is just inflamed or a sign of them getting better and reattaching? Will they just go back down again?

The bottom teeth used to hurt a lot, very major toothache like I was being pulled, like a muscle cramp. I felt it when I breathed, when I spoke, when I even moved anything.
But now that's completely gone and they only occasionally tingle and ache especially if I push with my tongue too much. They also feel like they move slightly when I brush behind them! Like something is stuck inbetween my teeth but then that subsides quickly within a minute (they are not visible wobbly though, dentist pushed them back and forth and they stay put, it's more a feeling). It's always only when I brush my teeth or push with my tongue or swallow aggressively, it's very strange?

The bottom row no longer bleed, although my top teeth still bleed even after a month of brushing and flossing and antibiotics etc... Dentist said gingivitis takes a while to go away, is this true? I'm scared to have gaps in the top too since they are the visible teeth whereas my bottom aren't (my lips are huge)

After going in today (last time she witheld a lot of information about my bones as I was borderline hyperventilating from panic of what I consider having essentially mutilated myself), she took another X ray and showed me that I had 10-15% bone loss in my bottom front teeth, a combination of irreversible periodontitis on the bottom whereas I have reversible gingivitis on the rest and I should come back every 3 months

I think my tears have dried up at this point, I have gone past the stage of big anxiety and I'm just feeling very low. I have a lot of trauma that I'm beginning therapy for and I deal with a lot of it by pushing it down.

So when I learned this, I don't have the energy to do anything anymore, my life has halted. I just want to know, will I eventually lose my teeth? Will my 'reversible' gingivitis also end up the same as my bottom teeth? Should I be saving up for implants? I had brushed twice a day and flossed yet this still happened within a span of only a few years so I have absolute 0 faith that my gingivitis will go away.

Granted I let plaque build up for 4 years but she did say that bone reduction could be focused in this area due to my bad habit of pushing my tongue on my bottom teeth/grinding at night. She did seem to be very confident on that opinion and emphasised that what I do with my tongue and grinding is a big factor.
I have a nightguard but I still push my bottom teeth with my gums subconsciously, just now I realised I'm resting on them again. When I swallow I tend to push out my tongue on them at the same time too

Does everything she say sound right? I'm getting a second opinion too in 2 weeks at a private dentist

Before I go, one last question that's been bugging me. Is it worth avoiding pregnancy over? I heard if you have pre-existing problems with your teeth, it can just worsen it. I'm very upset I have this disease so early in my life before I've had the chance to even do anything and now I might have to abandon thoughts of a family.
There's a lot to unpack in this, apologies if I miss something.
10% bone loss is a funny way to measure it, but it's not a significant amount. If you keep on top of your plaque control then it won't get worse and you won't lose your teeth. Make sure you keep going back at the suggested intervals so that you and the dentist can keep on top of things.

People often think they're cleaning their teeth properly when they aren't really. It needs to be checked by a professional regularly, as well as to clean off any calculus (tartar) that forms despite good cleaning.

There is no evidence that parafunction (what you do with your tongue etc) has much effect on periodontal disease. It probably has some impact but not to any great extent, it absolutely is not a cause and we're back to controlling plaque to prevent the disease.

Pregnancy can exacerbate periodontal disease but again doesn't cause it. Get your gums healthy and maintain them that way and there is no reason to worry about it.
I've noticed I have black spaces on those bottom teeth and very slightly longer looking teeth. However after a month on from the scaling those spaces have become much smaller. Is this just inflammation or do gums improve ? (google says it never grows back so I'm not sure why they've risen)

My lower gums tingle but they don't bleed. They feel far from normal, I'm terrified I'll have this feeling forever. It's like they are being tugged. When brushing, I feel them tense up as if I have something stuck inbetween. I'm scared that they are loosening
They also look a lot darker, purplish compared to my siblings and mother who have pink thick gumline. Does this stay dark forever?

I'm terrified, I've read periodontitis is only manageable. So is it a progressive disease? I feel like changing to an electric brush and flossing aren't doing enough because the other teeth still bleed? Is bleeding gums meant to last a month?

Sorry for all the questions, I haven't slept properly for a long time
Hate to give you homework :) but it might be a good idea to have a read over this article from on here: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/faq/gum-disease/

It'd save me from a lot of typing :)

You can't compare your gums with your family, everybody's are different, and the appearance is not an indication of health or lack of it.

Bleeding gums can go on for ages if there is still plaque about. Do you have any follow up appointments with the dentist/hygienist to monitor how you're getting on?

It would be worth your while getting some disclosing tablets to show any areas where you're missing out on getting the plaque cleaned away, like everything else, brushing teeth is a bit of a skill and it takes some practice to get good at it.
@Gordon Thanks no one has ever told me about disclosing tablets, I'll buy some for sure
I had my follow up last week and she said it can take months for gingivitis to go away, that was very discouraging, I'm seeing another dentist next week just to make sure everything she said and one was correct (I had noticed even after the cleaning, I have some parts with tartar remaining, I think she rushed) .

Just this morning, I bled immensely from my front teeth and they sting all day.

One thing I would say is that the front teeth that are still bleeding longer than the rest have a permanent brace behind them. I've had this for 7 years, I want to get it removed this year. No matter how much I use water pik and string floss and electric toothbrush and the dental cleaning, I can't stop the gums around them bleeding.

I was thinking of getting Invisalign to re-close the small gaps from neglecting my nightly retainers as a teenager and then hopefully as an adult wearing them everyday and never having the permanent ones again. I'm going to discuss this with the private dentist next week too

Would this be cleaner for my teeth in the long run? Is it correct to assume they are detrimental ? I'm afraid if this bleeding continues, I'll have bone loss on them too
Long term bleeding isn't great, you need to get that checked over. An ortho retainer should be designed not to be a plaque trap so it shouldn't be a problem, but obviously a poorly designed one might be.
Some people have a very short upper lip, allowing the front teeth to be visible when the lips are at rest. This can lead to drying out of the gingiva around these teeth an makes them more prone to gingivitis and hence bleeding. Without knowing what you look like this may be partly the case for you?