The Main Reason for Lost Teeth
People often assume that tooth loss is caused by decay. However, that is not the case. In most situations, tooth loss is caused by gum disease and usually goes unnoticed until you lose your teeth. Symptoms of gum disease may include bleeding gums when brushing and loose or shifting teeth. If your dentist has advised you to consider gum surgery, you will be happy to know that it’s possible to arrest gum disease with a variety of non-surgical methods, and that the team at Mosaic Dental in Sterling is here to help.
Gum Disease and the Contribution to Heart Disease and Stroke
Recent research has caused many doctors to reach an astounding conclusion —gum disease, stroke, and heart disease are connected. Heart disease is usually fatal, and because it is connected to gum disease, it’s important that you take your gum health seriously. The American Dental Association estimates that 80 percent of Americans have periodontal disease. If this were another ailment, such as AIDS or tuberculosis, it would be considered an epidemic! In fact, many dentists think it is. They also know gum disease wouldn’t be labeled an epidemic because “people don’t die from it.” The worst that might happen is lost teeth. Losing your teeth is not ideal, but it’s certainly not life-threatening. However, with new information about the link between gum disease and heart disease, that’s all about to change.
The American Academy of Periodontology reported: “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 as a bacterial infection in the gums. These bacteria can then migrate into the bloodstream right to the heart.
Here’s the Good News
With later-stage periodontal disease, the treatment will be surgical. Gum surgery is no fun, but it is generally successful in controlling the issue, and it’s usually covered by insurance. With more mild cases of periodontal disease, there are effective non-surgical treatments that, coupled with better oral hygiene, can halt the spread of the disease. These are also usually covered under most dental insurance plans.
Why is it Bad to Lose a Tooth?
Is it really a big deal to lose teeth? Actually, it is. Losing even a single tooth can cause the other teeth to shift around. This can affect chewing and the ability to absorb the nutrition in your food. When you lose a tooth, you also run the risk of your face changing shape or looking “sunken,” losing the ability to chew harder foods, and having difficulties speaking. Because it’s harder to chew food with missing teeth, you may favor softer foods with more carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain. The best method of treating a missing tooth (or multiple missing teeth) is with dental implants. An implant replaces one tooth or many teeth, and they can be created to look so natural that even dentists can’t tell the difference.