Many people understand that gum disease can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, including bleeding and soreness in the gums. However, did you know that gum disease has been linked to missing teeth? Tooth loss can develop in the advanced stage of the disease. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent the disease and avoid the advanced stage, known as periodontitis.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease develops when gum inflammation (gingivitis) remains untreated. As the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, pockets form that bacteria can enter, leading to the disease. Once the disease forms, you may notice your gums feel sore, appear more red than usual, or bleed easily. Factors behind inflammation can include poor oral hygiene (which causes plaque buildup), hormonal fluctuations, family history, certain medications and chronic illness.
Periodontal Disease and Tooth Loss
How does the disease cause you to lose teeth? Without treatment to manage the disease, periodontitis can form. An advanced form of the disease, periodontitis can cause the connective tissue between the gums and teeth to dissolve. Permanent teeth become loose and eventually, lost. This is actually the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
Protecting Your Smile
To help avoid the disease, we suggest seeing your dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings. You also need to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Once you notice changes in your gums, see your dentist as soon as possible. Gingivitis can be reversed, but gum disease can only be managed. If you have any questions about recognizing or treating gum problems, then please contact our office today. We want to help you enjoy a whole and healthy smile.