When most people think of periodontal disease, they probably imagine gums that are red and bleeding and maybe even loss of teeth. What many don’t realize is that left untreated, gum disease can also lead to bone degeneration. Your Albuquerque dentist, Dr. Mark Miller, discusses how gum disease leads to bone loss and what can be done to prevent that from happening.
Periodontal disease begins when the bacteria in the mouth are able to gain a toehold on the gums and begin to start eating away at them. The first symptom of gum disease is inflamed and bleeding gums. If the disease is allowed to go unchecked, the damaged gums will eventually recede all the way to the jawbone. The bone is also vulnerable to damage from these bacteria, and it too will start to degenerate over time. This will cause the teeth the bone is supporting to become loose and eventually fall out. Once bone is gone, it is gone. Nothing can be done to grow it back. However, the proper treatment can prevent the disease from becoming worse.
If a patient has already started to experience bone loss, there are several options the dentist can pursue. One is to remove the affected teeth and replace them with implants or dentures. It is also important for the patient to practice good oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day will remove most of the bacteria that causes gum disease in the first place. Eating healthy and quitting the use of tobacco will also help. Ultimately, a bone graft might be a solution, though the patient would need to see a specialist to discover if that procedure is possible and advisable.
The best way to treat bone loss is to prevent it from ever happening to begin with. By practicing good brushing and flossing habits, regular visits to their dentists, being aware of their family history of periodontal disease, and knowing what outside risk factors and health concerns could lead to gum disease, patients will ensure that their jawbone remains healthy and strong their entire lives.
To ensure that your teeth, gums, and bones remain healthy, make an appointment to see your Albuquerque dentist by calling Snow Park Dental at (505) 596-4479. Located in the 87112 area, we proudly serve patients from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Edgewood, Corrales, Los Lumas, Tijeras, Mountain Air, Santa Fe, and Taos.
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