Most patients equate tooth loss with decay. But the main cause is periodontal or gum disease. Gum infection can sometimes go unnoticed until it has reached a chronic and advanced stage. Symptoms include loose or shifting teeth and bleeding gums while brushing or flossing. It is important to come into our office at the first signs of this problem. Gum surgery can be avoided if treatment begins in the earlier stages.
Medical research has made a startling discovery about gum disease. It
contributes to the life-threatening conditions of heart disease, diabetes,
and stroke. A statistic provided by the American Dental Association has
revealed that approximately 8 of 10 adults in the United States have gum
Dentists now consider periodontal infection to be a much more serious condition than just the risk of losing your teeth. And with 80% of the population afflicted, this problem is at an epidemic level.
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." The bacteria in gums travels throughout the bloodstream, having an effect on major organs.
Nonsurgical methods may effectively take care of your gum disease if treated in the earlier stages of the problem. Waiting until the infection is severe may mean needing gum surgery to save your teeth. Combined with improved diet and better hygiene, treatment can usually reverse the infection and save your teeth. Both methods are generally covered by dental insurance plans.
You may think an unattractive appearance is the only problem with missing
teeth. But there are other issues you may not have considered.
You do not obtain as much nutrition from your food as you do with a full set of teeth. Other teeth may start to loosen or shift as well, resulting in additional tooth losses. Your speech may not always be clear, which can be embarrassing. Your face can appear sunken not only because of the gaps, but because of bone loss that begins as soon as the tooth is lost. Finally, your overall health may take a change for the worse as chewing becomes more difficult. Favoring softer foods over healthier choices often results in weight gain.
We recommend dental implants to replace one or more missing teeth. They look completely natural and function to let you eat whatever you like. You will once again recapture a beautiful smile.
Dr. Ushma Patel makes the treatment of gum disease easier than ever. She uses a very effective antibiotic called ARESTIN™, which is applied directly to the infected pockets in the gum tissue. It is invisible but works over time to combat the infection and allow your gums to become healthy again. Best of all, it does its work painlessly!
We can help arrest your gum disease and bring your smile back to health. Give us a call today at (770) 623-8750.