Disease Can Mean Lost Teeth
Gum disease, more than decay, is the primary cause of lost teeth.
Since it can be completely painless in early and moderate stages,
many people don’t know they have it until they begin to lose teeth.
Symptoms include bleeding gums when you brush or floss and loose or
shifting teeth. If you’ve been told you need gum surgery, you will
be glad to know that Dr. Johnny Hopp can help you control control
gum disease with a variety of non-surgical methods.
Disease is More than Missing Teeth
The statistics are staggering. The American Dental Association
estimates that 8 out of 10 Americans have periodontal (gum) disease.
At that rate, afflictions such as AIDS or tuberculosis would be
considered epidemic. Most dentists do, in fact, consider gum disease
at an epidemic level. But the biggest consequence was believed to be
lost teeth. Hardly pleasant, but not life threatening. Or is it?
Recent medical research has linked gum disease, stroke, and heart
disease. Since heart disease can be fatal, gum disease is obviously
a serious matter.
The American Academy of Periodontology reports: “studies found
periodontal infection may contribute to the development of heart
disease, increase the risk of premature, underweight births, and
pose a serious threat to people whose health is already compromised
due to diabetes and respiratory diseases.” Periodontal disease is
characterized by bacterial infection of the gums. These bacteria can
travel into the bloodstream – straight to the heart.
Don’t Despair! Gum Disease Can Be
Gum surgery is the best treatment for advanced periodontal disease,
and it’s usually covered by common insurance plans. When periodontal
disease is in earlier stages, there are very effective NON-surgical
procedures that, coupled with improved dental hygiene, can virtually
halt the spread of the disease. This, too, is usually covered under
most dental insurance plans.
Why Lost Teeth are a Serious
Gum disease and/or decay are the leading cause of lost teeth, though
most people would expect accidents or other trauma to be at the top
of the list. But even though losing a tooth isn’t life-threatening,
even a single missing tooth can cause the other teeth to shift and
move around, with unpleasant consequences. It can affect chewing and
your ability to absorb nutrients from your food. Other bad things
can happen: your face will change shape, often looking “sunken.”
This can make you look much older than you really are. Your speech
can be affected. Because it’s harder to chew with missing teeth, you
may find yourself favoring softer foods and more carbohydrates,
which can cause you to gain weight. The best way to treat a missing
tooth (or missing teeth) is with dental implants. An implant can
replace one tooth or many. They can be made to look so natural that
even a dentist has to look hard to tell the difference.
Ensure your healthiest smile! Give our
Gillette office a call today at (307) 687-0444.