Gum disease is a common dental health issue affecting millions worldwide. While it may start as a minor annoyance, gum disease can lead to serious oral health problems such as tooth decay and bone loss if left untreated. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how gum disease causes bone loss and tooth loss and what you can do to protect yourself from the effects of this disease.
What Causes Bone Loss?
When the bacteria in plaque accumulates along the gum line, it can cause inflammation and irritation of the gums, causing a condition called gingivitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease; if left untreated, it can progress into periodontal disease. Gingivitis causes deep pockets to form between your teeth and gums, allowing plaque and bacteria to accumulate in these areas. The bacteria that accumulates causes chronic inflammation and leads to the weakening of bone that supports your teeth and eventually causes them to break down or be lost altogether.
Signs of Gum Disease
It’s important to be aware of the signs of gum disease to prevent the progression and any resulting bone loss.
Some common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Receding gum tissue (the appearance that your teeth are getting longer)
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Changes in how your bite feels when you eat or chew food
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Pain when eating or chewing food
- Changes in speech due to shifting teeth positions
Gum disease can also affect your general health and, if left untreated, can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other serious medical conditions.
How to Prevent Gum Disease & Bone Loss
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent gum disease from developing in the first place.
- Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps to remove plaque buildup on your teeth’ surfaces before it has a chance to cause damage. Use a soft toothbrush and change it regularly.
- Floss daily to remove any trapped food particles that could contribute to plaque buildup.
- Visit your dentist regularly for regular checkups and professional dental cleanings, where they’ll be able to spot any potential issues before they become major problems.
- Ask your dentist about deep cleaning procedures like root planing and scaling. These procedures remove plaque and tartar buildup that has already accumulated in the periodontal pockets and can lead to gum disease.
- If you smoke or use other tobacco products—quit! Smoking significantly increases your risk of developing gum disease (and many other health issues).
If you already have gum disease, then you must follow through with whatever treatment plan has been prescribed by your oral surgeon or dentist—whether it be antibiotics or surgery—for it not to worsen further over time.
Treatments for Bone Loss
Once bone loss has occurred, there are treatments available to help restore your oral health and prevent further damage. Bone grafting is one such procedure that involves taking a piece of healthy bone from another area of the body (or a donor source) and fusing it with existing jawbones in order to form a new foundation for your teeth. Bone grafts are a good way to provide a solid foundation for additional procedures like dental implants or bridges.
Fight Against Gum Disease
Gum disease is a silent but serious condition affecting millions of people annually. It’s important to take preventive measures against this condition by practicing good oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily, rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash avoiding sugary snacks/drinks, and having regular dental checkups.
If you develop symptoms such as tenderness/bleeding in the gums, be sure to contact your dentist right away so they can diagnose any underlying issues before they become too severe. With proper care and maintenance, you should be able to maintain healthy gums free from infection or bone loss caused by periodontal diseases!
Our oral surgeons at AZ Max are uniquely qualified to treat bone loss with bone grafts and can evaluate and provide the best treatments for each patient. If you are searching for oral surgeon Mesa, AZ, Tempe, Show Low, and Queen Creek, or an oral surgeon near me, we are here for you. To book an appointment with a surgeon at any of our 5 locations, call (480) 830-5866 or complete the online booking form.