The Primary Cause of Lost Teeth
Did you know that gum disease is sometimes undetected right up until the point where you lose your teeth? And gum (or periodontal) disease is the number one reason for tooth loss, not decay.
If you experience bleeding gums from brushing or flossing or notice you have loose or shifting teeth, come into our office immediately. It is possible to control gum infection with various nonsurgical methods, if treated during the more moderate stages.
Gum Disease Can Contribute to Heart Disease and Even Stroke
The American Dental Association has estimated that 80% of all Americans have some stage of periodontal (gum) disease. Most dentists consider this to be at an epidemic level. Recent medical research demonstrates a link between gum disease and heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Gum disease is a more serious matter than just losing your teeth – it can contribute to potentially fatal conditions.
The American Academy of Periodontology reports, “studies found periodontal infection may contribute to the development of heart disease, increase the risk of premature, underweight births, and pose a serious threat to people whose health is already compromised due to diabetes and respiratory diseases.” The bacteria infecting the gums travels through the bloodstream to all the vital organs, affecting the state of health.
Now the Good News
You will be happy to know that, when treated in the earlier stages, periodontal disease can be reversed using nonsurgical procedures and better daily hygiene. If the infection advances to a severe level, the treatment will be surgery. Both procedures are generally covered by most dental insurance plans.
What’s so Bad about Losing a Tooth?
The main reasons for tooth loss are gum disease and decay, not accident or injury. It is important to understand that losing even one tooth will allow other teeth to start to shift. This will affect how you chew and lessen the amount of nutrients you absorb from your food. With missing teeth, you may start to eat softer foods that have a high calorie content, resulting in weight gain. Your appearance will eventually change, as you take on a hollow look to your face, and speaking may not be as clear as with a full set of teeth.
With today’s technologies, implants are the best solution to replace any and all missing teeth. They are very durable and look so natural, even a dentist would have difficulty telling that they are not yours.