Most tooth loss isn't because of dental decay, but gum disease. This infection is often unnoticed until it reaches advanced stages, when the only option is gum surgery. If you have bleeding gums from brushing or flossing, or loose teeth, you can halt the problem with nonsurgical techniques if caught and treated early.
Research has identified a connection between gum infections and serious conditions like stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Dentists now consider gum disease a very serious health issue. The American Dental Association has announced that 80% of Americans suffer from some form of gum disease, which many dentists consider an epidemic.
When bacteria in the gums navigate through the bloodstream, it can have a harmful effect on the body's vital organs. The American Academy of Periodontology states, "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."
Gum surgery can generally manage and reverse advanced gum disease. This is necessary when the infection is in the advanced stages. In less severe cases, nonsurgical methods are utilized. Combined with good daily hygiene, it can arrest the infection and heal the gums. Both approaches are usually covered by most dental insurance.
Is it really such a big deal to lose a tooth? Actually, a lot more than you may believe. Eventually, other neighboring teeth will start to also loosen and begin to move. This can impact how you chew food and how those nutrients are absorbed and can even cause more teeth to be lost in the future. If healthy natural foods become uncomfortable to chew, you may need to eat softer foods that are less healthy, which results in weight gain. Missing teeth can alter your facial structure and give you a sunken look. Your speech may also become difficult to understand, which can be an embarrassment.
We advise replacing any missing teeth with dental implants. They allow for full functionality to eat the foods you love. And they look so good, you will be back to smiling again in no time.
The primary reason for tooth loss is not decay – it's gum disease! Dr. Hagen offers his patients a potent weapon in the fight against gum disease. It's called ARESTIN™. It's a powder containing microspheres that deliver a time-released antibiotic to the infection (in the spaces between your gums and teeth). ARESTIN then destroys the bacteria causing gum disease. Probably the best patient benefit is that it's totally painless!
We can work with you to halt gum disease and bring your smile back to full health. Schedule online or give our office a call today at (513) 251-5500.