You have likely heard of gum disease from your dentist at some point over the years, as it is one of the most common dental diseases in America. In fact, virtually 75% of all Americans are affected by gum disease to some degree during their lifetime. Gum disease is also a leading cause of tooth loss when it is not treated in a timely manner. Many times, patients who do not know they are affected by gum disease end up allowing the disease to progress to advanced stages where it becomes incurable and leads to the failure of oral structures that support your teeth.
Signs of Gum Disease
- Bleeding gums when brushing, flossing, or eating
- Swollen, red, tender gums
- Pus forming around teeth
- Teeth look longer than normal
- Loose teeth
Why Gum Disease Causes Tooth Loss
Once gum disease advances to periodontal disease, an advanced stage of the disease, it begins to cause the breakdown of the structure that hold teeth in place. Gum recession is common, in which the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth. This begins to expose the sensitive tooth root, which can become damaged easily and compromises the tooth structure. Additionally, the lack of gum tissue surrounding the teeth can make them become looser.
Additionally, advanced gum disease also destroys the bone within the jaw. The disease slowly eats away at the jaw bone, causing it to become thinner and thinner surrounding the affected teeth. Without the bone support, teeth are no longer held in place firmly. This causes loose teeth and eventual tooth loss if not addressed.
What You Can Do About It
If you show any of the symptoms of gum disease, your best option is to go visit your dentist or periodontist right away. If caught early enough, gum disease can be treated and the advanced stage halted. It is possible to save your teeth once affected by gum disease, but you will need professional help right away.
Save Your Smile!