People often believe that tooth loss is caused by decay. It’s actually because of gum disease. And it can often be unnoticeable right up until there are lost teeth. Symptoms may include bleeding gums during brushing or loose teeth. If you’ve been advised you need gum surgery, you will be happy to know it’s possible to manage gum disease with a variety of non-surgical methods.
Important medical research has caused many dentists to reach a stunning conclusion: gum disease, stroke, and heart disease are inter-related. Because heart disease can be fatal, it is clear that gum disease should be taken seriously. The American Dental Association has estimated 8 of 10 Americans have gum disease. Strangely enough, if this were any other malady, such as tuberculosis, it would be considered epidemic! Many dentists do agree with that assessment. They also know that gum disease wouldn’t be labeled epidemic because “no one dies from it.” A worst-case scenario might be tooth loss. Not pleasant – but certainly not a life-or-death situation. But now that reasoning has completely reversed.
The American Academy of Periodontology states: “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.” Periodontal disease is characterized by a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. These bacteria can then move through the bloodstream – directly to the heart.
With late-stage periodontal disease, the treatment is surgical. Gum surgery isn’t pleasant, but it is generally a success in controlling the issues, and it’s normally covered by common insurance. With milder forms of periodontal disease, there are effective non-surgical treatment options that, coupled with better dental hygiene, will virtually halt the spread of the disease. These procedures are also usually covered under most dental insurance plans.
Whether as the result of an accident or other trauma or the more common cause of gum disease, is it so terrible to lose a tooth? You can’t die from it, right? No, you can’t, but the loss of even one tooth can cause other teeth to shift around, which causes problems. This can impact chewing and the ability to absorb nutrients. Other bad things can happen with your appearance: your face changes shape, giving you a sunken look. This can lead to premature aging, so you might look much older than you actually are. The way you talk can be affected. Because it’s more difficult to chew with missing teeth, you may lean towards eating softer foods with more carbohydrates, which can cause weight gain. The most beneficial way to treat a missing tooth (or missing teeth) is with traditional dental implants. An implant can replace any number of lost teeth. They are constructed to look so natural that even dentists have to look hard to see any difference.
Dr. Kravitz is pleased to offer patients a potent weapon in the battle against gum disease. It is called ARESTIN™. It is delivered in powder form and contains invisible microspheres. The medication delivers a time-released antibiotic directly to the infected gum tissue. ARESTIN destroys the bacteria causing gum disease. The part that patients appreciate is that it’s all painless!
We can help arrest your gum disease and bring your smile back to health. Schedule online or give us a call today at (781) 245-7714.