• Welcome! This is a forum for anyone who is affected by a fear of the dentist, dental phobia, or specific dental fears.

    We are lucky to count a number of dentists among our members and moderators. Look out for the "Verified dentist" badges. If you are a dental professional who likes to help, please join our community!

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Bone remodelling - grateful for info



Apr 14, 2020
United Kingdom
Hi, I'm curious about something I read on previous posts. (The background is: I had an upper molar extracted 5 weeks ago. My gum on the cheek side is still slightly swollen, tender and sometimes achey, though very very gradually getting better. Niall Neeson gave some very kind advice on this - thanks again Niall!)
Looking through old posts, especially from Gordon, one explanation that comes up a lot is "bone remodelling". What exactly is that, and why can it be so uncomfortable? Can it really go on for a couple of months? Does age and size of extraction make a difference? I'm mid-50s and the molar was very large (and cracked, hence extracted).
Would be so grateful for advice! Thanks.


Staff member
Verified dentist
Oct 25, 2005
When the tooth has been extracted, your body helpfully removes the bone which was supporting the tooth and recycles it. The process takes years to complete, not months, but things gradually slow down after the first 4-6 months and it becomes less noticeable.
It's uncomfortable because there's a lot of cells involved and a bit of inflammation (why we don't fully understand yet)
Increased age makes it a bit slower, size of extracted tooth does too, more bone to remove, extraction due to pre-existing bone loss such as through gum disease speeds it up and so on.