The Main Reason for Lost Teeth
People often assume that tooth loss is due to decay. It’s not. It’s the result of gum disease. And it might be
completely unnoticeable right up until you have lost teeth. Symptoms include bleeding gums when brushing or
flossing and loose or shifting teeth. If you’ve been advised to get gum surgery, you will be glad to know that
it’s possible to control gum disease with a variety of non-surgical techniques.
Gum Disease and the Connection to Heart Disease and Even Stroke
Recent medical research has led many doctors to reach a shocking conclusion: gum disease, stroke, and heart
disease are linked. Because heart disease is usually fatal, it is clear that gum disease is a very serious matter.
The American Dental Association has estimated 8 out of 10 Americans have periodontal (gum) disease. If this were
some other affliction, such as AIDS or tuberculosis, it would be considered of epidemic proportions. Many dentists
think it is just that. They also knew gum disease wouldn’t be labeled epidemic because “no one ever dies from it.”
The worst-case scenario is that you lose teeth. Not pleasant – but certainly not life threatening. However, that
has all changed.
The American Academy of Periodontology states 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 move through the bloodstream – directly
to the heart.
For Some Good News
With advanced gum disease, the treatment is generally surgical. Dr. Ryan is trained to use the FDA-approved
PerioLase™ laser for treatment without scalpels or sutures. See our Dental Laser page for more details.
With mild periodontal disease, there are effective non-surgical procedures that, coupled with improved dental
hygiene, can halt the spread of the disease. Both treatments may be covered under your dental insurance plan.
What’s So Bad About Losing a Tooth?
Is it a big problem to lose a tooth? I mean nobody dies from it, right? Right, but losing even one tooth can
cause the adjacent teeth to shift and move – not good. This can impact chewing and the ability to absorb proper
nutrition from food. Other bad things can happen. Your face will change shape, combining with bone loss over
time to give a “sunken” look. This can make you appear older than you really are. The way you talk can be affected.
Because it’s harder to chew with missing teeth, you may lean towards softer foods and more carbohydrates, which
can result in weight gain. The best method to treat a missing tooth (or missing teeth) is with dental implants. An
implant can replace one tooth or several. They can be constructed to look so natural that even dentists have to
look hard to see the difference.
We can help arrest your gum disease and bring your smile back to health. Give us a call today at (708) 532-4131.