The Main Reason for Lost Teeth

People often assume that tooth loss is caused by decay. It’s not. It’s due to gum disease. It can be unnoticeable right up until you lose teeth. Symptoms may include bleeding gums when brushing and loose or shifting teeth. If you’ve been advised you need 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.

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. Since heart disease is usually fatal, it’s obvious that gum disease is a serious matter. The American Dental Association estimates that 80% of Americans have periodontal disease. If this were another ailment, such as AIDS or tuberculosis, it would be considered epidemic! Many dentists think it is. They also know gum disease wouldn’t be labeled epidemic because “people don’t die from it.” The worst that might happen is lost teeth. Not ideal – but certainly not life threatening. However, that’s all changed.

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 milder 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 nutrition in your food. Other bad things might occur: your face can change its shape, often looking “sunken.” This can make a person look much older. Your speech may also be impacted. 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. They can be created to look so natural that even dentists can’t tell the difference.

We can help arrest your gum disease and bring your smile back to health. Give us a call today at 703-444-5111.