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The Connection between Gum Disease and Tooth Loss

By Stephen Rogers on May 07, 2016

An illustration demonstrating the progression of gum diseaseWhat is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults in the United States? If you answered “cavities,” guess again. The leading cause of tooth loss is actually gum disease, which also happens to be the most common disease of any type among American adults, affecting roughly 75 percent of the population to some extent. Modern restorative dentistry has made it possible to return form, function, and health to the mouths of people with missing teeth at higher degrees of quality than ever before. Yet, an unfortunate number of people allow their gum disease to progress even after suffering tooth loss, believing that once the pain of an infected tooth has passed, the worst of their problems are over.

The truth, as they will eventually discover, is far from that.

At Greater Long Island Dental, our team of esteemed, experienced dentists provides our patients with the education they need to avoid serious oral health problems. By educating them about the connection between gum disease and tooth loss during appointments at our Long Island, NY cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry practice, they help patients to understand why it is so important to have their gums screened and professionally cleaned at least twice a year as recommended by the American Dental Association. Doing so allows our dentists to treat gum disease in its earliest stages, when it can most easily be eradicated.

Have you had your gums screened in the past year? If not, we urge you to schedule an appointment at Greater Long Island Dental today. Your smile will thank you.

The Connection between Tooth Loss and Gum Disease

Many people mistakenly believe that gum disease affects only the gums. However, gum disease affects all of the tissues in the mouth, especially in its more advanced stage, periodontitis. Periodontitis can cause the jaw bone that underlies a tooth to weaken and become less dense. It can also cause the gums themselves to pull away from the tooth, forming a pocket in which bacteria can find refuge. Through the process of the gums pulling away from a tooth, the ligaments that support the tooth can also become damaged.

At this point, a person will have reached a crossroads of sorts. If he or she seeks treatment, it may be possible to salvage the tooth through aggressive treatment of the gum disease and suturing of the gum tissue onto the tooth. Gum and bone grafting may even be necessary.

Many people, however, are lulled into a false sense of complacency by the fact that the pain may subside. At this point, there is a good chance that the tooth has died and is therefore beyond salvation. Fortunately, modern dentistry has made it possible for our dentists to replace the tooth and restore health to the jawbone and gum tissues. However, in order to do that, patients must seek treatment. If they don’t, the tissues that once supported the now-missing tooth will continue to degrade, and other teeth will be at risk of falling out.

Learn More about Gum Disease and Tooth Loss

To learn more about gum disease and tooth loss, please contact Greater Long Island Dental today.

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