HOW GUM DISEASE CAN QUICKLY LEAD TO TOOTH LOSS
For years, studies have shown that over half of the American population suffers from gum disease. When you look at the older population, the numbers increase significantly, with up to 70 percent of those aged 65 and older suffering from periodontitis, also known as gum disease.
Cause of Gum Disease
In most cases, gum disease is caused by inadequate oral hygiene. However, other risk factors such as tobacco use, diabetes, cancer therapy drugs, oral contraceptives and other medications can be a factor. Pregnant women are also at an increased risk for developing gum disease. When plaque builds up on teeth, especially around the base of the tooth where the gum line begins, it can cause the gums to become inflamed and eventually infected.
Symptoms and Stages of Gum Disease
The first sign of gum disease is often red, swollen or bleeding gums. At this stage it’s referred to as gingivitis, and the good news is the damage is almost always reversible if treatment is sought at this stage.
The next stage of gum disease is referred to as periodontitis. At this stage, damage starts to become irreversible. The inflammation and infection in the gums leads to damage of the fibers and bones that support the teeth. Pockets begin to form in the gums around each tooth, further harboring bacteria and increasing infection.
The final stage of gum disease, advanced periodontitis, occurs when teeth begin to loosen and shift, eventually falling out or requiring extraction to get the infection under control.
When Tooth Loss Occurs
When tooth loss occurs, it can be scary and frustrating. Thankfully, dental technology has evolved significantly over the years, and replacement options such as dental implants are so realistic that no one would ever guess the tooth isn’t real. They’re a permanent solution that doesn’t require any special treatment or removal.
If you’ve experienced gum disease and have lost a tooth, it’s never too late to consider dental implants. For more information on implants and to find out if you’re a good candidate, call us today at Pinnacle Oral Surgery Specialists at (469)264-8921.