Primary Cause of Lost Teeth
Many people assume that tooth loss is due to decay. It’s not.
It’s because of gum disease. And it can be completely painless
right up until you lose your teeth. Symptoms include bleeding
gums when you brush or floss and loose or shifting teeth. If
you’ve been told you need gum surgery, you will be glad to know
that it’s possible to control gum disease with a variety of
Gum Disease Can Contribute to Heart
Recent medical research has caused many doctors to reach a
startling conclusion: gum disease, stroke, and heart disease are
linked. Since heart disease is usually fatal, it is clear that
gum disease is a serious matter. The American Dental Association
estimates that 8 out of 10 Americans have periodontal (gum)
disease. If this were any other affliction, such as AIDS or
tuberculosis, it would be considered an epidemic! Most dentists
think it is just that. They also knew that gum disease would
never be labeled epidemic because “no one ever dies from it.”
The worst is that you lose your teeth. Not pleasant – but
certainly not life threatening. But that’s all changed.
The American Academy of Periodontology reports: “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 travel into the bloodstream –
straight to the heart.
Now the Good News
With advanced periodontal disease, the treatment is surgical.
Gum surgery is never fun, but it is almost always successful in
controlling the condition, and it’s usually covered by common
insurance plans. With mild periodontal disease, there are very
effective NON-surgical procedures which, coupled with improved
dental hygiene, can virtually halt the spread of the disease.
This, too, is usually covered under most dental insurance plans.
So Bad About Losing a Tooth?
Teeth can be lost due to an accident or other trauma, but the
most common reason people lose a tooth is because of gum disease
and/or decay. So, is it a big deal to lose a tooth? I mean you
can’t die from it, right? No, you can’t, but losing even a
single tooth can cause the other teeth to shift and move around
– not good. This can affect chewing and your ability to absorb
nutrients from your food. Other bad things can happen; your face
will change shape, often looking “sunken.” This can make you
look much older than you really are. Your speech can be
affected. Because it’s harder to chew with missing teeth, you
may find yourself favoring softer foods and more carbohydrates,
which can cause you to gain weight. The best way to treat a
missing tooth (or missing teeth) is with dental implants. An
implant can replace one tooth or many. They can be made to look
so natural that even a dentist has to look hard to tell the