Although gum disease is a common oral health condition that affects 47.2% of US adults over 30, it poses a severe risk to both the health and appearance of your smile without proper treatment.2 When gum disease begins to affect the shape of your face, visiting a gum specialist in Rochester, NY, is an absolute must.
Gum Disease and Bone Loss: The Impact On Facial Shape and Appearance
Gum disease can have many negative impacts on your health and wellbeing. On top of increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other adverse health conditions, it can also cosmetically impact the shape and appearance of your face. This is due to the tooth and bone loss that occurs as a result of severe periodontal disease.
While gum disease begins with an infection of the gum’s soft tissue in its milder stage, the infection can spread to the tooth and jaw bone when left untreated. The alveolar bone, otherwise known as the part of the jaw bone that supports the socket of a tooth, begins to deteriorate immediately following the loss of a tooth.
More specifically, studies found that around 50% of alveolar bone width is lost in the first year after a tooth is extracted, with a shocking 30% being lost within the first 12 weeks after the tooth is lost.1 This type of jawbone loss can cause the face to appear sunken in, sag the cheeks, increase facial wrinkles, thin the lips, and cause the chin to appear pointy, all of which are causes for cosmetic concerns.
3 Ways to Prevent Facial Changes From Gum Disease
Due to its harmful impact on teeth, gums, and jaw bone, it is crucial to do everything you can to reduce your risk of gum disease. To feel the most healthy and confident in your smile, here are three easy ways to prevent facial changes from gum disease:
#1: Regular Flossing
On top of brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing your teeth twice daily is an absolute must for protecting against gum disease and tooth loss. This is because flossing gets deeper into the hard-to-reach areas between the teeth to clean away any food particles missed by a toothbrush and remove excess bacteria. This dramatically reduces the risk of developing periodontal pockets and subsequent tooth loss.
#2: Recognize The Signs and Symptoms Of Gum Disease
When gum disease is caught in its milder form, gingivitis, it is entirely possible to reverse its damages with proper oral hygiene and care. To diagnose gum disease as early as possible to prevent bone loss and facial changes, make sure to seek professional care if any of these symptoms arise:
- Red and swollen gums
- Shifting and loose teeth
- Receding gum line
- Bad breath
- Gums that bleed easily
#3: Consult a Gum Specialist in Rochester NY For Treatment Options
If you weren’t able to catch and treat your gum disease in time, there are various treatment options available to help you restore the appearance of your smile if tooth and jaw bone loss has already occurred. Dental implants and jaw bone grafts are easily some of the best options for restoring the original appearance of the jaw, in turn improving your facial appearance immensely.
Take Control of Gum Disease With a Gum Specialist in Rochester NY
The periodontists at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester are experts in diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. To learn more about our services and individualized care options for improving your oral health, give us a call at 585-685-2005 to schedule your appointment or reach us online.