When so many Americans have gum disease, it’s no wonder that tooth loss is so high. While 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, nearly 50 percent of adults over the age of 30 had either a mild, moderate, or severe form of gum disease between 2009 and 2010. Without treating gum disease, people won’t be able to keep their teeth for long.
In the event that their teeth are lost due to gum disease, there’s always dental implants in State College to fill the gap!
What is Gum Disease?
Technically there are two forms of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. While gingivitis can be reversed with increased dental visits, improved dental care, and a change in diet, periodontitis is a permanent condition that must be managed for life.
Gum disease is caused when plaque buildup is not removed. The most common signs of early gum disease include bleeding gums when brushing or flossing and red, swollen, and tender gums. Left untreated, these symptoms can manifest into chronic bad breath, loose teeth, receding gums, swelling, bleeding, and eventually tooth loss.
Why Does Gum Disease Cause Tooth Loss?
Periodontal (gum) disease is technically an infection of the gums. Over time, this bacterial infection will continue to spread along the gum line and start attacking the areas that hold teeth. As the infection spreads, the structures that hold teeth in place will start to break down, which is why loose teeth is a common symptom of advanced gum disease.
While having healthy teeth is important, it means nothing if the structures holding them, including the gums, the cementum that covers the root, the periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone, become damaged by infection. Gingivitis only attacks the gums, making it reversible, but periodontitis targets the structures needed to keep teeth in the jawbone.
How to Replace Teeth Lost from Gum Disease
If your teeth are lost due to gum disease, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get dental implants. While having healthy gums and enough bone mass is necessary to receive them, patients can still have their gum disease treated and infections removed. By seeing your dentist in State College, you can receive scaling and root planing to treat gum disease and make your mouth ready to receive dental implants.
With enough bone and gum tissue, dental implants can restore your overall appearance, make chewing your favorite foods easy, and prevent future bone from resorbing back into the body. They can also prevent other teeth from shifting into the empty spaces of your smile, causing misalignment and an uneven bite.
To get started treating your gum disease or learn more about dental implants, schedule an appointment with your dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Chris J. Devlin earned his dental degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. It doesn’t matter how many teeth you’ve lost; Dr. Devlin can replace a single tooth or an entire arch with the help of implant-retained dentures for maximum comfort. To learn more about his practice, contact him through his website.