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Gum disease is a health condition that acutely affects the health of your gums and teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can become serious enough to cause permanent tooth loss. Fortunately, gum disease is easy to prevent with daily oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist’s office.
Can Gum Disease Cause Tooth Loss?
Gum disease is another term for periodontitis. It is an infection of the gums resulting from the build-up of bacteria on and underneath the gum line. The initial target of this infection is the soft tissue that makes up your gums, but it can proceed to infect the bone as well.
Serious periodontitis can cause damage to your gums, teeth, and jaw bone. Without appropriate periodontal disease treatment in Los Angeles the infection can cause you to lose tissue, teeth, and bone.
What Are Risk Factors for Gum Disease?
Gum disease can affect anyone, and it can generally be prevented in all cases. By brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, flossing once per day, and visiting your dentist every six months, you can generally guarantee that you will never have a serious case of gum disease.
If you do have a minor case, then your dentist will address it during your regularly scheduled appointment. As long as you visit your dentist about twice a year that’s usually enough to ensure that any infection is nipped in the bud long before it can cause permanent damage.
With that said, several health conditions and lifestyle choices may make you more susceptible to gum disease and may allow the condition to progress more quickly than normal.
- Low dietary calcium or vitamin C
- Alcohol consumption
If you have any of these conditions or lifestyle habits, you will need to be even more fastidious with your dental hygiene to prevent infection.
What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
The symptoms of periodontal disease are fairly noticeable, but they develop gradually over time. As a result, many people don’t pay attention to them until they are much more difficult to ignore.
The symptoms of early periodontal disease include swelling and redness in the gums. You may find that your gums feel a bit tender, and you may notice that your toothbrush or spit has a slight reddish tinge after brushing. You may also struggle with bad breath that doesn’t seem to go away.
As the disease progresses, you may begin to have more serious symptoms. Chewing may become painful, and you may notice that your gums are pulling away from your teeth. This is called gum recession. In the most serious cases of periodontitis, you will begin to notice that your teeth are loosening, and you may have visible abscesses on the gums.
Receiving Treatment for Periodontal Disease
When periodontitis is caught early, your normal dentist can usually help you get back on track. However, you will be referred to your periodontist in Los Angeles if the infection has progressed beyond the scope of your regular dentist’s expertise.
A periodontist specializes in gum disease. Depending on their evaluation of your current oral health, you will either go down a non-surgical or a surgical path.
The Non-surgical path:
If you are suited to the non-surgical path, then your periodontist will do a specialized deep cleaning that goes underneath the edge of the gum. You may also put on an antibiotic to kill any remaining bacteria.
The Surgical path:
If your periodontal disease is more advanced with significant gum recession, then you may need surgery. This may include pocket surgery to clean all the way up the root of your tooth, soft tissue grafts to replace missing gum, and bone grafts to reinforce damaged bone.