Though there are several different potential causes of adult tooth loss, severe gum disease (or periodontal disease) is the most frequent one. Unlike conditions that directly threaten your tooth’s healthy, natural structure, such as a fracture, break, or decay forming in it, gum disease progresses by eroding the tissues and bone structures that support your teeth roots. Because of this, many patients who don’t seek treatment promptly for their gum disease can experience tooth loss or a need for tooth extraction by the time they do. This also means that, if you have gum disease, then seeking treatment for it as soon as possible can go a long way in controlling your risks of tooth loss.
How gum disease leads to tooth loss
As a progressive issue, gum disease goes through different stages before it causes you to lose one or more teeth. It begins as an infection in your gums, called gingivitis, that’s caused by an excessive buildup of oral bacteria underneath them. This buildup and the irritation it causes can make your gum tissues recede from your teeth, allowing more bacteria to accumulate underneath them and exacerbate the infection. As it progresses, gum disease causes rampant inflammation in the gum tissues, which leads to increasingly worse tissue damage and, in severe cases, an erosion of the bone structure underneath them.
Identifying gum disease in its early stages
Because gum disease is a progressive problem, the best way to deal with it is to prevent it from forming in the first place. However, good dental hygiene and preventive dental care aren’t always a guarantee, which is why it’s just as important to know how to spot gingivitis in its early stages and to seek treatment for it as soon as possible if you do. For instance, when gingivitis first develops, you may notice extreme redness in one or more areas of your gum tissues. These or other areas might also become inflamed, or swollen, and you may notice them bleeding when you brush and floss your teeth. These may all be signs of the damage that gum disease has begun to cause, and should be a warning for you to seek appropriate treatment for it as soon as possible.
Learn how to manage your gum disease
Severe gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss, but you can lower your chances of losing teeth to it by successfully managing gum disease in its early stages. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Modern Smile in North Hollywood, CA, today at 818-763-9353. We also proudly serve patients who live in Burbank, Toluca Lake, and all surrounding communities.