Why Lost Teeth Happen
Many people assume that tooth loss is usually because of decay. It’s not. The primary cause is gum disease,
which can be completely unnoticeable right up until you lose your teeth. An early symptom is bleeding gums when
you brush or floss. Of more concern is loose or shifting teeth. If you’ve been advised that you need gum surgery,
you may be glad to hear it’s possible to control gum disease with a variety of non-surgical methods.
Gum Disease Can Contribute to Stroke and Heart Disease
Medical research has led many to reach a startling conclusion: gum disease, stroke, and heart disease are linked.
With heart disease often being fatal, it is clear that gum disease is a more serious matter than many people think.
The American Dental Association estimates that 8 out of 10 Americans have periodontal (gum) disease. Any other
affliction would be considered an epidemic! Most dentists think it is just that. They knew that label wouldn’t be
applied to gum disease because “no one ever dies from it.” The worst is that you lose your teeth. Problematic, but
certainly not life threatening. But that’s all changed.
The American Academy of Periodontology reports that “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.” Periodontal disease is characterized by
bacterial infection of the gums. These bacteria can travel into the bloodstream – straight to the heart.
There Is Good News
Surgical treatment is necessary when gum disease is advanced. That may not be ideal, but it is generally successful in
controlling the condition, and most common insurance plans cover it. With mild periodontal disease, there are very
effective NON-surgical procedures that, along with improved dental hygiene, can virtually halt the spread of the disease.
This, too, is usually covered under dental insurance plans.
Why Is Losing a Tooth So Bad?
Losing even a single tooth can cause the other teeth to shift and move around, which creates a domino effect of problems.
Missing teeth affect chewing and how you absorb nutrients from your food. It’s almost a guarantee your face will change
shape, the loss of bone causing a “sunken” look that ages your appearance. Your speech can be affected, and difficulty
chewing may lead to favoring softer foods and more carbohydrates and therefore weight gain. The best way to treat a missing
tooth (or missing teeth) is with dental implants. An implant can replace one tooth or many. They can be made to look so
natural that even a dentist has to look hard to tell the difference.
We can help arrest your gum disease and bring your smile back to health. Give us a call today at (770) 760-0036.