Gum Disease Can Lead to Tooth and Bone Loss
Gum disease and periodontal disease are the leading causes of tooth and bone loss. If you do have gum disease or tooth loss, it is important to seek treatment now. Daily brushing and flossing are the best preventative measures against gum disease, but only a qualified dental professional like NYC periodontist Dr. Scott Kissel can treat severe gum disease and restore infected gums and teeth to health.
Missing teeth can affect your life in several ways:
- Nutritional deficiencies: People with missing or loose teeth tend to reach for softer foods that are easy to chew. A soft-food diet often lacks the adequate vitamins, minerals and fiber a body needs to stay healthy. Poor nutrition is directly linked to poor health and can cause a variety of chronic illnesses and diseases.
- Problems speaking. Untreated gum disease can interrupt speech due to discomfort. In order to speak and enunciate, we need teeth. The loss of teeth in adults can affect normal airflow. When we speak out loud, the teeth constantly make contact with the tongue to pronounce the many letter sounds in words. When missing teeth are present, a lisping condition often results, making words harder to say and even harder for others to understand. Teeth also keep the tongue in place. Without them, it can spread and thicken into the gaps between missing teeth, further complicating communication.
- Bone loss. Missing teeth cause the jaw bone to deteriorate. When teeth touch, they stimulate the alveolar bone – the part of the jaw that keeps teeth anchored in place. When teeth fall out, this natural stimulation stops and bone starts to weaken, break down, and even disappear altogether. Even dentures need bone for retention and function.
- Misaligned teeth. Teeth depend on each other for optimal functioning. If one or more teeth are missing (a common result of gum disease), the surrounding teeth migrate from their proper positions. When teeth shift or when teeth are loose, the bite is also affected and can cause discomfort in the head, jaw and neck area.
- Droopy facial muscles. Without the support of teeth, the muscles in the face may begin to sag. The cheeks may appear hollow and the lips of the mouth may sink inward. Missing teeth make people look much older than they are.
Do not ignore the signs of gum disease. Although brushing and flossing are mandatory routine home care measures, you still need a dental professional to diagnose and manage gum disease treatments. If you have gum disease, please call us today for a consultation with Dr. Kissel, a leading periodontist in NYC.