Why Are My Teeth Falling Out?

It can be worrying when one of your teeth falls out, especially as an adult, it can be upsetting and distressing.

Try not to worry, there are many reasons why a tooth could fall out and fortunately, there are also many solutions.

If you’re under 13, then it is a totally normal occurrence and you can just be excited about the tooth fairy swapping your tooth for a special coin. 

A blow or impact to the mouth or face can cause a tooth or teeth to fall out. If this has happened you might be wondering what you should do. (Scroll down for info on what to do with your tooth.)

If you’ve not been in an accident, you may be asking “what causes teeth to fall out?”.  

The best way to find out why your tooth has fallen out is to have a consultation with an expert dentist immediately.  

Whilst we can’t diagnose what’s caused your tooth loss without seeing you, we can give you some helpful information about the major causes of tooth loss and the treatment options for each one. We will also provide tips for preventing tooth loss in the future and what can be done to restore your smile if the tooth can’t be saved. 

why are my teeth falling out

Why do teeth fall out?

Some of the common causes of an adult tooth falling out are advanced gum disease, trauma and decay.


Traumatic injuries such as sports injuries, car accidents and falls can cause your teeth to fall out at the time of injury. They can also be lost at a later date due to undetected issues that lead to tooth resorption or infection.

It’s not just a blow to the head that causes trauma and tooth loss. 

Clenching and grinding (bruxism) of the teeth, as well as using the teeth as a tool to remove caps, tops, or lids, chewing on pencils or pens and cracking ice cubes can also cause physical damage to your teeth. 

Gum Disease

Gum disease, which is also called periodontal disease or gingivitis, is one of the leading causes of missing or loose teeth in adults. 

If bacteria in the mouth is not removed from the teeth with regular brushing and flossing, a biofilm (plaque) forms on the teeth and along the gumline. You may have red, swollen gums that may bleed when brushed. At this point, the disease is called gingivitis. 

If the gingivitis goes untreated and you have poor oral hygiene, the plaque triggers an inflammatory response, our body’s immune system tries to get rid of the bacterial infection but in trying to do so, it destroys the jawbone, gum tissue and periodontal ligaments (they attach the teeth to the jawbone). The gums recede and the ligaments are no longer able to hold the teeth in place. At this stage, the disease is referred to as periodontists.  

Untreated, periodontitis will eventually reach an advanced stage where the teeth fall out. 


A tooth cavity is a small hole that forms in your tooth. Cavities occur when plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth (just like gum disease above). This buildup can cause your enamel to weaken, allowing bacteria to penetrate your tooth and create a hole.

If it is left untreated the pulp at the centre of the tooth can be destroyed. If this happens and the tooth hasn’t fallen out, a root canal or tooth extraction will be needed.

Underlying Health Conditions and Other Risk Factors

Our oral health is intricately linked to our overall health. It can contribute to diseases and conditions elsewhere in the body. 

The following conditions have all been shown to be linked to gum disease, bone loss in the jaw and tooth loss.

  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Osteoporosis
  • High blood pressure 
  • Hormone changes during pregnancy and menopause

Smoking, stress, poor nutrition and eating disorders also contribute to tooth loss. They are risk factors for periodontal disease, cavities and dental trauma.

Can a Tooth Fall Out For No Reason At All?

That’s a common question frequently asked, but no, our adult teeth can’t just fall out. There will always be an underlying cause. 

How Can You Tell If You’re At Risk Of Tooth Loss?

As we have just seen there are many reasons why your teeth might fall out but what are the warning signs you should look out for if you want to avoid tooth loss. 

Things to look out for are trouble chewing or pain when eating, bleeding gums when you brush your teeth as well as wobbly, loose teeth.

Always see your dentist if you spot any of these telltale signs.  

How To Prevent Tooth Loss

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help prevent your teeth from falling out. 

  • Use a Gum Pocket Brush: Ensure you’re cleaning both above and below the gum line using a specially designed Gum Pocket Brush.
  • Develop and maintain good oral hygiene: Regular brushing and flossing is the best way to protect your gums and teeth in order to keep them healthy. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly.
  • Regular checkups – Visiting the dentist regularly, will ensure early detection and it will prevent dental problems arising
  • Eat a healthy nutritious diet
  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water to wash away food debris and sugar. 
  • Get treatment for gum disease and cavities – If you have tooth decay or gum disease, it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible. It can help prevent tooth loss in the future. 
  • Keep your Dentist Informed: Let your dentist know about any underlying health problems or medications you take. They will be able to advise you on the effect they have on your tooth and gum health.
  • Protect your Teeth with Dental Appliances: Protect your teeth when you play contact sports by wearing a properly fitted mouthguard. If you grind and clench your teeth, ask your dentist for a mouth split to wear overnight to reduce the pressure on your teeth and jawbone. 
  • Stop Smoking – this will benefit your overall health as well as your oral health. 

By taking these steps, you can help prevent tooth loss and keep your smile healthy for years to come.

Beat Gum Disease Now

What To Do If Your Tooth Has Fallen Out – Emergency Steps To Save Your Tooth

If your tooth has fallen out, the best thing to do is to retrieve the tooth. Hold the crown (the top of the tooth) not the roots.

Gently rinse the crown and root with water, milk or saline and place the tooth gently back into the socket. Hold the lost tooth in place by gently biting down on a piece of gauze or tissue. 

If you can’t reinsert the tooth, place it into a container of milk or saline. Failing that, pop it under your tongue – but try not to swallow it. 

Get an emergency appointment with the dentist. 

Replacing Your Missing Teeth

If you have a missing tooth or you have a loose tooth that can’t be saved (the dentist might advise that the tooth is extracted), you will have a gap in your mouth.

You can leave the gap empty but this can lead to issues with eating, smiling, talking and self-confidence. Your other teeth might begin to move and your jawbone can shrink, making you look older sooner. 

There are a number of ways to replace missing teeth including dentures and bridges but your dentist might suggest that you have a dental implant fitted. Dental implants are considered by many as the best long term solution as they replace the root as well as the crown. 

A dental implant involves placing a titanium screw into the jawbone to replace the tooth root. An artificial tooth is fitted on top. The implanted tooth looks and feels just like a natural tooth.

Why Are My Teeth Falling Out? Is It Due To Periodontitis?

At Gum Disease Guide, we know how traumatic tooth loss can be. To not be able to smile confidently or eat your favourite foods can be worrying. But did you know that you have more control of this than you may have first thought?

In fact, we’d say that over 80% of the saving your teeth comes down to award-winning Daily Self-Performed Care in the bathroom, day in, day out and using the best tools for the job. If you’d like to learn how to ensure you’re giving yourself the best shot at saving your loose teeth, then here’s a handy FREE guide.

Beat Gum Disease Now

Gareth Edwards image

Written by Gareth Edwards

Co-Founder & GDG Dentist

Dr. Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) MFDS (RCPS Glasgow) is GDG Co-Founder and Gum Disease Expert.

He is a practicing dentist based in Bournemouth, UK and has treated thousands of patients with gum-related diseases.

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