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The Not-So-Dynamic Duo: Tooth Loss and Gum Disease

Dr. Hellwig May 24, 2016

Illustration of the stages of periodontal (gum) diseaseYou may think your gums are perfectly healthy, but if they are, you’re actually in the minority. Approximately 75 percent of all American adults have gum disease, making it the most common disease in the nation. Unfortunately, gum disease doesn’t always produce symptoms in its earliest stages, when it is most treatable. As a result, many people fail to seek the treatment they need until it is too late, when damage has already been done and more advanced restorative dentistry becomes necessary.

The prevalence of gum disease would be bad enough if it only affected the gums. However, gum disease is also the number-one cause of tooth loss among adults. That’s right - gum disease beats out cavities, root canal infections, injury, and disease as the number-one cause of tooth loss. If you haven’t visited the dentist lately because you think your gums are in perfect health, and you are currently rethinking your strategy, then we are glad you found this blog article.

We’re glad you found this blog article whatever the state of your gums. The truth is that it is never too late to achieve optimal oral heath, whether you have all, most, some, or none of your natural teeth. Dr. Peter Hellwig can customize a treatment plan that restores form and function to your mouth, giving you the smile you deserve, built upon a solid foundation of good periodontal health. And by helping you to understand the connection between tooth loss and gum disease during your consultation at his San Diego, CA cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry practice, he can give you the education you need to preserve excellent oral health for a lifetime.

Don’t hesitate - start down the path toward excellent dental health today by scheduling your initial consultation with Dr. Peter Hellwig.

How Are Tooth Loss and Gum Disease Related?

As stated above, gum disease is the number-one cause of tooth loss in adults. This is because the health of the gums affects the health of all other tissues in the mouth, including the teeth, the jaws, the insides of the cheeks, the tongue, and the roof of the mouth. During the more severe stage of gum disease, periodontitis, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, damaging the ligaments supporting the teeth in the process. Pockets form in between the gums and the teeth, creating safe havens for destructive bacteria. Infection spreads from the gums to the teeth. All the while, the gums and underlying jaw bone supporting the teeth are also starting to erode.

Even at this point, the teeth can still be salvaged if gum disease treatment is sought. However, if it is not, the teeth will continue to loosen, and eventually, tooth loss will occur. While restorative dental techniques have made it possible to replace teeth with excellent results, preservation of natural teeth is always preferable. Therefore, timely diagnosis and treatment of gum disease should always be the primary priority of the patient.

Learn More about Tooth Loss and Gum Disease

To learn more about tooth loss and gum disease, please contact the dental practice of Dr. Peter Hellwig today.

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