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How Untreated Periodontal Disease can Lead to Tooth Loss

Posted on 5/10/2015 by Todd Jorgenson

A man with untreated periodontal disease that has lost a tooth! What's the first thing you notice about someone? It might be their hair; their body shape; or their smile that you notice first. A great smile is something that attracts people to you. Even if it's not the first thing you notice, I bet if someone had damaged or missing teeth, that's all you would see. We all want to keep our teeth and keep them looking as good as possible. But people lose teeth for many reasons. Having periodontal disease, or gum disease, is one major reason for tooth loss.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is when plaque builds up underneath and along a patient's gum line. This attracts and traps bacteria which starts to eat away at the tooth's connecting tissue and bone structure.

Gum disease starts out as gingivitis. This is an inflammation of the gum. You will notice this as swollen gums that bleed when brushed or you may have bad breath that won't go away no matter how many mints you eat. Periodontal disease at this stage can be dealt with by following a strict oral care routine that includes regular dental visits with a professional cleaning, and brushing and flossing after meals. Bacteria can collect on your tongue as well, which is why we recommend brushing your tongue along with your teeth. Some mouthwashes can kill bacteria and will help in keeping it under control. All parts to this oral health care regimen are necessary; you can't leave anything out in the war against gingivitis.

Advanced periodontal disease is called periodontitis. Someone who has progressed to this stage of gum disease will notice pockets around the tooth at the gum line which allows bacteria in. As this happens, the bone structure and connecting tissues start to give way causing loose teeth. At this point we may need to use some surgical intervention to try and repair any damage.

What if you don't Treat Periodontal Disease?

Not going to the general dentist on a regular basis can cause gum disease to not be diagnosed early enough to get control of. People who are afraid of the dentist because of the fear of pain will suffer more pain in the long run by choosing to ignore gum disease. Or people that feel that their dental health is just fine because they do not have any pain or loose teeth will suffer even more.

Not catching gum disease as it starts allows the start of the deterioration of the structure of your mouth. When gingivitis starts, the gums are inflamed and irritated. If no treatment is given, the gums start to recede from the tooth as bacteria collects along and under the gum line. The bacteria causes loss of bone allowing more bacteria to settle in the mouth. The process continues until the teeth have no strong foundation to be attached to. At this point the teeth may need to be pulled or they could fall out if the disease has progressed that far. The toxins released into the blood stream from the gum disease have also been linked to many other illnesses including heart disease.

Poor dental hygiene is not the only cause of periodontal disease. Smoking is one of the biggest causes. Smokers tend to have more calculus on their teeth than non-smokers. They also get bigger pockets around the tooth area causing gum disease to progress more quickly.
If you suspect you have gingivitis it is imperative to see us today. Stop gum disease before it's too late and you experience tooth loss.

Please contact us at 480-827-9703 to make your next appointment!




Mesa Location
3048 E. Baseline Rd.
Suite #112
Mesa , AZ 85204

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Fax: 480-827-9703


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Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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