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How Gum Disease Can Cause Tooth Loss

A diagram of the structure of a tooth
Dr. Andrew R. Glenn is a leading dentist who serves the greater Lincoln area, offering patients advanced dental care treatments to address their diverse needs. When patients are missing teeth, dental implants may be the ideal restorative dentistry option.

A number of patients are surprised to learn that gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Let's consider this matter in a bit more detail right now.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease refers to the bacterial infection of the gum tissue. This is caused by the same bacteria that is responsible for bad breath and tooth decay. Gum disease needs to be taken very seriously since it can lead to major issues with overall dental health and wellness if left untreated.

The Stages of Gum Disease

There are three stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

With each stage of gum disease, the symptoms become far worse. With gingivitis, the symptoms typically involve issues with gum discoloration, gum irritation, and bleeding gums. At more advanced stages, the risk of tooth loss becomes far more likely.

Gum Recession and Tooth Decay

In later stages of gum disease, the gum tissue recedes, which means greater exposure of the tooth below the gumline. With recession, that means greater chances of tooth decay originating below the gumline. This kind of tooth decay is more difficult to treat effectively, which can make the root canal infections and tooth loss far more likely.

Gum Recession and Loose Teeth

When gum recession becomes very serious, a tooth may become loose. This is to be expected since there is less soft tissue to help a tooth in place. As the gum disease progresses, people are more likely to lose a tooth or multiple teeth because of the combined issues of recession and the poor support provided by the compromised gum tissue.

Treating Gum Disease

In order to treat gum disease, there are many options available.

In most cases, the first step is getting the bacterial infection under control. This typically means the use of antiseptic rinses and medications. This will help reduce the amount of oral bacteria that is present, reducing the inflammation and the severity of the health issues you experience in the process. In serious cases of gum disease, antibiotics may be prescribed.

Treating the Negative Effects of Gum Disease

As the gum tissue infection is being controlled, another important facet of treating gum disease is treating the negative effects of the infection. This refers to treatments that are designed to address gum recession as well as major tooth decay.

For gum recession, soft tissue augmentation is typically the best option to consider. This uses gum grafts to rebuild missing tissue. Tooth decay below the gumline can be effectively treated through the use of various restorations, which rebuild and restore damaged tooth structure.

Treatment Options for Tooth Loss

When you are missing a tooth or many teeth, the ideal treatment to consider is typically a dental bridge or a denture. In some cases, patients may be good candidates for dental implants, which are artificial tooth roots designed to support various kinds of restorations. Candidacy for implant dentistry can be discussed in greater detail during your consultation.

Tips for Good Dental Health and Wellness

In order to prevent gum disease and ensure good dental health and wellness for years to come, be sure to consider the following tips:

  • Avoid the use of tobacco products (i.e., cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars)
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally after every meal)
  • Floss your teeth at least once a night (ideally after every meal)
  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings

Speak with Dr. Andrew R. Glenn About Dental Wellness

To learn more about gum disease and how to enhance your overall dental health and wellness, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. Dr. Andrew R. Glenn and his team look forward to your visit and helping you achieve optimal dental health and wellness.

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3401 Plantation Dr Ste 100
Lincoln, NE 68516

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My anxiety has been through the roof the past 3 weeks but I would have never imagined it could be so easy. Thank you Dr Glenn! He has made the whole experience amazing! If you are looking for a knowledgable, caring and talented surgeon, look no further! Dr. Andrew Glenn is awesome! I have never been a fan of the dentist's office!!!
Wanda Moses
June 2016

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