Can Gum Disease Lead to Missing Teeth?

You have probably heard of gum disease at your routine checkups. But, you may not know that gum disease affects nearly 75% of American adults and is the leading cause of missing teeth in adults.[1] Gum disease and missing teeth can negatively impact your oral health, so taking steps to prevent gum disease is vital. Understanding how gum disease can lead to tooth loss and learning how to effectively treat and prevent gum disease will help you keep your happy, healthy smile.

How Does Gum Disease Lead To Missing Teeth?

Gum disease is an infection of the gums that surround your teeth. It is caused by a build-up of bacteria on the teeth, called plaque.[2]  Over time, the infection causes the gum tissue to break down and separate from the teeth, causing pockets. These pockets around the teeth worsen the condition and can cause damage to the teeth and even your jaw bone. Eventually, the tooth may become loose and need to be removed. Gum disease sounds like it would cause obvious pain and discomfort, but that is not always the case. While 75% of adults suffer from gum disease, only about 3% actually seek treatment for it. The infection sometimes only causes very mild symptoms that are easy to ignore until it is too late.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease is treatable and preventable with regular care and healthy hygiene habits. [3]

First, you can prevent gum disease by preventing plaque build-up. Brush and floss your teeth twice per day.

Secondly, regular check-ups with your Rochester periodontist are vital. Many people do not recognize the symptoms of gum disease. However, once it is noticed, you should immediately seek treatment. It is easier to treat gum disease when it is caught early.

Additionally, being aware of other risk factors is an important part of preventing gum disease. Risk factors include smoking, diabetes, age, and genetics.[4] Speak with your Rochester periodontist for how these factors can impact your oral health.

Options for Replacing Missing Teeth

If you lose a tooth to gum disease there are several options for replacing your missing tooth. After your periodontist has confirmed the infection is gone, you can discuss your options for tooth replacement. Depending on your specific needs, your periodontist may recommend dental implants, dentures, or other options. Dental implants are typically the most highly recommended tooth replacement option because they offer several benefits over dentures and other options. Dental implants look and function exactly like your natural teeth.

If gum disease has progressed to missing teeth, you have options. Contact your Rochester periodontist today to learn how you can restore your dental health, replace your missing teeth, and get your smile back! Schedule a consultation by calling Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester at 585.685.2005 today.







Board Certified Periodontist

Dr. Thomas Zahavi is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. He completed his post-graduate periodontal education at the Eastman Dental Center at the University of Rochester in 2006.

Dr. Zahavi obtained his combined DMD and Master’s degree Summa Cum Laude from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1997). He then pursued a speciality program in Prosthodontics (the restoration and replacement of teeth), receiving the highest honors in the residency program (2001). In 2003 he relocated with his family to the USA in pursuit of a residency program in Periodontology at the University of Rochester/ Eastman Institute for Oral Health. He was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation and honored with a research fellowship from a major dental implant company. He is a Board-Certified Periodontist (USA) and Prosthodontist (Israel). His clinical experience and training in the two specialities proves to be invaluable, especially in patients requiring comprehensive periodontal and implant treatments.

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