You should be informed that most tooth loss is due to periodontal
disease or bacterial infection of the gums. Teeth that are not cleaned
properly will, over time, develop gum problems. Sometimes there is no pain
or symptoms up to the point of losing your teeth.
Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing and loose teeth are signs of gum disease. If this infection is reversed in the early stages, there are methods other than surgery to take care of the problem. In advanced cases, surgery will most likely be necessary.
Medical research has revealed another result of gum infection. The
bacteria in gums travels throughout the bloodstream to have an effect on
serious health conditions like stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. As
estimated by the American Dental Association, 80% of Americans have
periodontal (gum) disease at some stage. Dentists are now regarding this
as a major health epidemic. It is more serious than losing your teeth.
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."
Gum surgery can be prevented, if treatment of gum infection is begun during its early stages. There are nonsurgical procedures that prove to be very effective together with proper daily dental hygiene. Once the infection spreads and becomes severe, surgery will be necessary to stop the problem. Both approaches are covered by the majority of dental insurance plans.
Most people seem to make the assumption that it is no big deal to lose
a tooth. Since it is not a fatal matter, what could possibly happen if you
are missing a tooth? Missing even a single tooth can cause the other teeth
to shift - not good. This affects your chewing, resulting in obtaining
fewer nutrients from your food. Your speech may change to slurring certain
words. Your face can take on a different appearance - you may start to
appear older than you are with a hollow look in your mouth and cheek
areas. Oftentimes, weight gain results because of eating softer,
high-calorie foods, instead of more nutritious foods.
The best solution is dental implants. They can be placed for as many teeth as are missing. They look natural, function completely, and no one can tell the difference.