The Main Cause of Missing Teeth
Most teeth are lost due to gum disease, not decay. Sometimes there are no symptoms up until the infection is severe and you could lose your teeth. Bleeding gums from brushing or flossing and loose teeth are the usual symptoms of periodontal disease (gum disease). If detected and treated in the earlier stages, surgery can be avoided with very effective nonsurgical means.
Gum Disease Can Affect Your Overall Health
Recent medical research has proven that infected gums can contribute to life-threatening conditions such as stroke, diabetes, and heart problems. Just as startling is the estimate by the American Dental Association that 80% of Americans have periodontitis. Most dentists consider this to be at an epidemic level and a more serious problem than just losing your teeth. As the bacteria from your gums travels throughout the bloodstream, it has an effect on all vital organs.
The American Academy of Periodontology reports that "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."
There Is Good News
Surgery is no longer the only option for gum disease. If treated in the less severe stages, there are very effective nonsurgical means to combat the problem. When improved hygiene is added to the care plan, the infection can be halted, allowing gums to return to a healthy state. If you wait too long to take care of the infection, surgery may be the only option. Both methods are generally covered by most dental insurance plans.
Is There a Problem with Missing Teeth?The most common reason for tooth loss is gum disease, not decay. And losing even a single tooth is not good, as your ability to chew effectively to absorb nutrients is lessened. With many missing teeth, your facial appearance may begin to look sunken, making you look older. Depending on where your teeth are missing, your speech can be affected, which can be embarrassing. Weight gain is often a result of missing teeth, as high-calorie, soft foods are easier to eat without a full set of teeth.
We recommend dental implants for as many teeth as you have missing. They look and feel natural and function just like your real teeth.
Craycroft Family Dentistry
J. Andrew Craycroft, DMD
1711 Ashley Circle, Suite 3
Bowling Green, KY 42104