A Big Reason for Lost Teeth
Many people believe tooth loss is the result of decay. It’s not. It’s because of gum disease. And unfortunately, it can go unnoticed right up until you lose your teeth. Symptoms generally include bleeding gums while brushing and loose or shifting teeth. If you’ve been told you require gum surgery, you will be happy to know it’s possible to control gum disease using a variety of non-surgical methods.
Gum Disease Can Contribute to Heart Disease
Medical research has caused many doctors to arrive at a startling conclusion: gum disease, stroke, and heart disease are linked. Because heart disease is often fatal, it is clear that gum disease is very serious. The American Dental Association estimates that 8 out of 10 Americans have gum disease. Were this any other affliction, such as AIDS or tuberculosis, it might be considered epidemic! Most dentists do believe it is just that. They also know gum disease would never be labeled epidemic because “people don’t die from it.” The worst is that you lose teeth. Not great – but certainly not life threatening. However, that’s all changed.
The American Academy of Periodontology states: “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 as bacterial infection of the gums. These bacteria can travel into the bloodstream – directly to the heart.
Now for Some Good News
With later-stage periodontal disease, the treatment is usually surgical. Gum surgery isn’t pleasant, but it is almost always successful in halting the condition, and it’s generally covered by most insurance plans. For those with mild periodontal disease, there are very effective non-surgical procedures that, coupled with better dental hygiene, can virtually stop the spread of the disease. This is also usually covered under most dental insurance plans.
What’s So Bad About Tooth Loss?
Is it really a big deal to lose a tooth? You can’t die from it, right? No, you can’t, but losing even one tooth can cause other teeth to shift – not good. This can have an impact on chewing and your ability to absorb nutrients. There are other negative consequences; your face will change shape, often looking “sunken.” This can make you appear much older than you really are. Your speech can even be affected. Because it’s more difficult to chew with missing teeth, you may find yourself favoring softer foods with more carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain. The best way to restore missing teeth is through the use of dental implants. An implant can replace one tooth or many. They can be made to look so natural that even dentists have to look closely to see the difference.