Tooth loss is a scary proposition. If you’re like most people with a mouthful of healthy teeth you can’t even imagine the horror of having a tooth fall out! Sure you lost your baby teeth but that was expected – losing an adult tooth is a terrifying situation!
At New Albany Implants we’ve seen a lot of patients who lose teeth. There are a number of reasons why teeth are lost but there’s one reason that outranks all the other causes of tooth loss: gum disease! This dangerous condition sneaks up out of nowhere and before you know it you’re in serious danger!
What Is Gum Disease
Your mouth contains countless bacteria. They hang around in the form of plaque. You’ve probably noticed plaque before – it’s that sticky white biofilm that forms on your teeth throughout the day. Chances are if your teeth feel slimy that’s plaque bacteria you’re feeling!
Good oral hygiene can keep plaque bacteria in check. Unfortunately sometimes they get a bit out of control! The dangerous strains of bacteria, which aren’t all of the kinds in your mouth, can cause serious irritation to your gums. As time passes and gum disease goes untreated bacteria ends up getting under your gumline where you can’t clean it out and it damages gums and causes the destruction of bone tissue!
Left untreated gum disease will lead to tooth loss – and even a single lost tooth can start a chain reaction of more and more lost!
Stages Of Gum Disease
The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. If you’re suffering from this you may notices your gums are inflamed, red, a bit puffy, and they bleed easily when you brush. This stage is alarming but it still isn’t a death sentence for your teeth yet!
We can clean your teeth and remove bacteria using a process known as scaling and root planing! This procedure uses a probe that goes below the gumline to destroy tartar and drive out infection! After treatment we use an antibiotic gel to kill off any remaining bacteria. Most patients who undergo this procedure all all set!
The later stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis. At this stage you’re in dangerous territory. You may notice your gums start to deeply recede, pull away from the bone, and your teeth start to loosen. This happens due to the loss of bone tissue – your teeth might be strong by they rely on bone to keep them in place!
Without treatment periodontitis will cause the loss of affected teeth. Bone and gum recession will continue until it’s nearly impossible to treat the situation!
Preventing Gum Disease
Keeping your mouth healthy and free of gum disease starts at home! You need to be super disciplined about brushing twice a day and flossing in the evening. A lot of people hate to floss but it’s an essential part of maintaining a healthy mouth!
Brushing should be performed for at least two minutes and should always be done with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be sure to brush down away from your gums to sweep plaque away from your teeth and make sure to get each surface!
Don’t Wait To Seek Treatment!
If you’re concerned that you might be suffering from gum disease or gingivitis don’t wait to seek professional care! Prompt attention can reverse the damage but a delay means we’re probably going to be seeing you for a dental implant!