What Is the Relationship between Gum Disease and Tooth Loss?

By John Rink DDS on June 11, 2016

Illustrated chart showing the stages of gum diseaseAs diseases go, gum disease may not get the most attention, but it is actually the most common disease among American adults by a wide margin. Approximately three-quarters of all adults are afflicted with gum disease to one degree or another. Unfortunately, gum disease is also the most common cause of tooth loss among adults. While modern restorative dentistry techniques can be used to replace missing teeth with excellent results, it is always far better to prevent gum disease and avoid tooth loss in the first place.

At Charleston Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry, LLC, Dr. John Rink and his team of dental professionals offer a comprehensive range of treatments for oral health problems, including both gum disease and tooth loss. At our Charleston, SC cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice, we also provide patients with all of the education they need to maintain excellent oral health between visits and preserve the function and aesthetics of their smiles.

Even if your gums are in perfect health, it is important that you visit the dentist twice a year, as recommended by the American Dental Association, for professional cleanings and thorough oral examinations to keep them in that condition. It is also important to note that, in its earliest stages, gum disease can produce little to no symptoms, meaning that you could have gum disease and not even realize it. The best way to keep gum disease in check is to visit the dentist regularly and have gum disease diagnosed and treated before it has a chance to worsen.

If you haven’t visited the dentist in the past year, we strongly encourage you to contact Charleston Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry, LLC today to schedule your initial appointment with Dr. John Rink.

The Connection between Gum Disease and Tooth Loss

The teeth rely on the periodontal (gum) and jaw bone tissues for support. When these tissues are strong and healthy, the teeth are stable and secure. However, gum disease affects not only the gums, but all of the tissues in the mouth, including the jaw bones and the teeth, especially in the advanced stage of the disease, periodontitis. During periodontitis, the gums start to pull away from the teeth, which can cause the ligaments supporting the teeth to become damaged. As the gums pull away, pockets begin to form between the teeth and gums, creating another space for bacteria to hide. Infection spreads from the gums throughout the mouth. The structures that support the teeth, including the gums and the jaw bone, start to erode.

Although the situation may be bad at this point, it is still possible to salvage the teeth if professional dental treatment is sought. If it is not, tooth loss is inevitable, and restorative dental techniques such as implant dentistry will be necessary to return full form and function to the mouth.

Learn more about Gum Disease and Tooth Loss

To learn more about gum disease and tooth loss, please contact Charleston Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry, LLC today.

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