The Primary Cause of Lost Teeth
Gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss, beating out decay and trauma, because it’s sneaky, going
entirely unnoticed right up until you lose your teeth. If you have any of the typical symptoms – bleeding
gums when you brush or floss, bad breath, or loose or shifting teeth – you may be infected. And if you’ve
already been told you require gum surgery, we’re pleased to let you know that in many cases it’s now
possible to control gum disease with a host of non-surgical methods.
Gum Disease Can Contribute to Heart Disease and Even Stroke
Medical research has led to a troubling conclusion: gum disease, stroke, and heart disease are linked.
Since heart disease is typically fatal, it’s obvious that gum disease should be taken very seriously. The
American Dental Association has stated that approximately 80 percent of all Americans already suffer from
periodontal (gum) disease. If this were any other illness, such as AIDS or tuberculosis, it would be labeled
an epidemic! The reason it hasn’t been is due to the long-held faulty belief that the worst outcome is that
you lose your teeth. Not pleasant – but certainly not life threatening. But that’s all changed.
The American Academy of Periodontology has stated, “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.” It’s an ugly reality.
The bacterial infection that destroys your teeth and gums can also travel into your bloodstream – straight
to your heart.
Now the Good News
Once periodontal disease advances to a certain point, the treatment is surgical. Gum surgery is never pleasant,
but it is almost always effective in controlling the condition. But catch it in the early stages, and mild
periodontal disease can be treated with very effective NON-surgical procedures that, when combined with improved
dental hygiene, can virtually stop the spread of the disease. In both situations, gum disease treatments are
usually covered under most common dental insurance plans.
What’s So Bad About Losing a Tooth?
Losing even one tooth permits your other teeth to shift and move around. This can cause other teeth to loosen and
later fall out. This can upset your ability to chew and absorb nutrients from your food. Because it’s more difficult
to chew with missing teeth, you may find yourself preferring softer foods and less complex carbohydrates, which
can cause you to gain weight.
Other problems may develop. For example, bone loss causes your face to change shape, appearing “sunken” and making
you look much older than you really are. Your speech could be altered. Words may begin to sound garbled or slurred.
Dr. Leach believes the best way to fix a missing tooth (or missing teeth) is with dental implants. An implant can
replace one tooth or multiples. And the best part is that they can be made to look so natural that even a dentist
will have to really look close to tell the difference.
We can help arrest your gum disease and bring your smile back to health. Give us a call today at (423) 586-3432.