How Gum Disease Can Lead to Tooth Loss
The team at Southern Dental Implant Center offers excellent solutions for tooth loss here in the Memphis area. We are a leader in advanced restorative dentistry for missing teeth, using the latest approached to smile restoration.
Sometimes the ideal treatment for tooth loss can vary depending on the cause of a person's tooth loss. With that in mind, we'd like to explore the links between gum disease and tooth loss right now.
What Is Gum Disease?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a type of bacterial infection that affects the gum tissue. The oral bacteria that causes this infection is the same kind of bacteria that is also responsible for tooth decay and bad breath.
When the gum tissue becomes inflamed, it can lead to a whole host of problems with overall dental health and wellness.
Stages of Gum Disease
There are three stages of gum disease:
- Advanced periodontitis
It's during the latter two stages of gum disease, particularly the final stage of gum disease, that tooth loss becomes more likely.
The Dangers of Gum Recession
In the later stages of gum disease, gum recession is more likely to occur. Gum recession refers to the loss of gum tissue along the normal portion of the gumline. When this happens, more of the root structure of the teeth becomes revealed. This causes tooth sensitivity early on. The teeth may become more exposed to damage and decay, and they are not as stably anchored by the gum tissue.
Tooth Decay Below the Gumline
When the tooth roots are exposed in this way, it's more likely for people to suffer from tooth decay that occurs below the gumline. This is more serious that tooth decay of the crown since teeth have less enamel in the root. Teeth can become seriously weakened because of this.
Loose and Misaligned Teeth
In the latter stages of gum disease, teeth may become loose due to this loss of healthy gum tissue. What's more, teeth can also shift out of place, resulting in dental misalignment. This is a less than ideal situation and can lead to tooth loss or at least a heightened likelihood of tooth loss.
Risk of Root Canal Infection
As tooth decay below the gumline gets worse, this increases the risk of root canal infection. This means that the bacteria in the mouth has reached the dental pulp within the teeth. When this soft tissue is infected, it can be quite painful. When endodontic therapy is not performed in time, tooth extraction is the best solution for a serious root canal infection.
Treatment Options for Gum Disease
The main focus of gum disease treatment is getting the infection under control. This is often achieved through the use of antiseptic rinses and antibiotic drugs. Soft tissue augmentation can be performed in order to counteract the effects of gum recession. Additional restorative procedures can be performed as needed to reverse the damage done to the teeth.
Treatment Options for Missing Teeth
If you are missing a tooth or a few teeth due to gum disease, there are multiple treatments to consider once the gum disease is under control. Dental bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures are solid solutions to keep in mind, for instance. The use of dental implants may also be ideal for some patient who have healthy jawbone and gum tissue density.
Contact Southern Dental Implant Center
For more information about the link between gum disease and other serious dental problems, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Southern Dental Implant Center is here to help you have a healthy and beautiful smile.