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How Gum Disease is Linked to Bone Loss

By Steven Kail on October 24, 2016


A tooth affected by periodontal disease and gum recessionHere at Premier Dental Center, we take great pride in offering the people of Jackson some of the most advanced restorative dentistry treatments available today. This includes the latest treatments for the teeth, the gums, and the jaw joint.

When it comes to ensuring lasting dental health, it's crucial that we improve a patient's periodontal health for the years ahead. It's with this topic in mind that we want to consider how gum disease can lead to the loss of bone density in the jaw.

About Periodontal Disease

Gum disease is the bacterial infection of the gum tissue. It is the result of the same oral bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath. Gum disease can lead to a number of serious problems with the health of your gums, and it can also lead to tooth loss and other serious health issues.

Stages of Periodontal Disease

There are three stages of gum disease. Listed in order from least serious to most serious, they are as follows:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

It's best for gum disease to be treated in its earliest stages, as this prevents serious health and wellness issues from occurring.

Bone Loss and the Spread of Infection

When the infection of the gum tissue gets worse, it can affect other structures of the mouth. Gums may recede around the teeth, exposing more of the root structure and leaving teeth loose and more susceptible to gum disease in the process.

In addition, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis have both been linked to the loss of jaw bone density. This is the result of the bacteria affecting the tooth roots and the bone tissue. It can lead to loose teeth and a number of other dangers.

Tooth Loss and Bone Loss

In later stages of gum disease, it's possible for people to experience the loss of a tooth or multiple teeth. This is the result of gum recession, bone loss, and tooth decay below the gumline. If you lose a tooth or a few teeth, this can accelerate the bone loss in the jaw since there is no root structure to support anymore.

Treatments for Bone Loss

To treat bone loss, the best option is typically a bone grafting surgery. During bone grafting, donor bone or artificial bone tissue is fused to the diminished jawbone structure. By doing this, an oral surgeon is able to build up the bone density and improve overall dental health in the process.

The type of bone graft and the extent of your bone graft surgery will depend on the amount of bone loss and other health needs.

Treatment and Prevention of Gum Disease

To treat gum disease, the most common treatment option is the use of antiseptic rinses and antibacterial medications. These help bring the bacteria under control. Oral antibiotics may be recommended for serious infections. Restorative gum grafts can then be placed to address gum recession if needed.

As for prevention, the best things a person can do to avoid gum disease include:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day
  • Flossing at least once a night
  • Avoiding cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and cigars
  • Visiting your dentist for regular checkups

Learn More About Treating Gum Disease

For more information about gum disease and how it can be properly treated, be sure to contact our team of experienced dentists today. The team at Premier Dental Center will work with you to ensure you smile is healthy and beautiful.

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