Preventive Dentistry Beaverton OR

Gum Health

The Primary Cause of Lost Teeth

You may be unaware you have gum disease until you start losing your teeth. In fact, gum disease accounts for more tooth loss than either decay or trauma. Symptoms include bleeding gums when you brush or floss, and sometimes loose or shifting teeth. If you’ve been told you require gum surgery, you should know that it’s also possible to control gum disease with a variety of non-surgical methods.

Gum Disease Can Contribute to Heart Disease and Even StrokeGum Disease Treatment Beaverton OR

Recent medical research has resulted in many doctors reaching a startling conclusion: gum disease, stroke, and heart disease are connected. Since heart disease is usually fatal, it is obvious that treating gum disease is of paramount importance. The American Dental Association estimates that 8 out of 10 Americans have periodontal (gum) disease. If this were any other affliction, such as AIDS or tuberculosis, it would be handled as an epidemic! While most dentists think it is just that, they realize that gum disease will never be labeled as an epidemic because “no one ever dies from it.” The worst is that you lose your teeth. Not pleasant – but certainly not life threatening. But that thought process has changed.

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.” In short, the bacteria that infect your gums, when you suffer from periodontal disease, can migrate into your bloodstream and travel straight to your heart.

Now the Good NewsPreventive Dentistry Beaverton OR

Gum surgery is the standard, recommended treatment for advanced periodontal disease. This form of treatment is almost always successful in managing the condition, and it’s usually covered by common insurance plans. With mild periodontal disease, there are potent NON-surgical procedures which, combined with increased dental hygiene, can virtually stop the spread of the disease. These, too, are usually covered under most dental insurance plans.

What’s So Bad About Losing a Tooth?

Is it a big problem to lose a tooth? Believe it or not, yes! Losing even a single tooth can cause your other teeth to shift and move around, which is not good. Missing teeth affect your ability to chew and to absorb nutrients from your food. Because it’s difficult to chew with missing teeth, you may begin favoring softer foods and more carbohydrates, which can cause you to gain weight. Other bad things can happen; your speech can be affected. The gaps in your teeth may cause your face to change shape, creating a "sunken" appearance that can make you look much older than you really are. As soon as a tooth comes out, bone loss begins in the jaw, contributing to that “aged” appearance. Dental implants can replace one tooth or many and are the best way to treat a missing tooth (or missing teeth). Designed to blend with your remaining teeth, they look so natural that even a dentist has to look hard to tell the difference.

We can help arrest your gum disease and bring your smile back to health. Give us a call today at (503) 533-5539.