75% of all adult tooth loss is due to periodontal disease. When your gums and bone are damaged by periodontal infection, there is less support for your teeth and a large number of harmful bacteria live inside your body. In the best case scenario, as the disease progresses, your jawbone is destroyed and your teeth will first become loose and then fall out. However, the risks of untreated or partially treated periodontal disease could be more unpleasant than the loss of teeth and serious to your overall health. When periodontal treatment is recommended, it is important to get started right away.
Natural teeth must be replaced
If your periodontal infection continues, you can start to lose your teeth one at a time. These lost teeth will have to be replaced with various dental treatments such as:
- Dental Implants
- Partial Dentures
- Full Dentures
If tooth loss continues, it can lead to dentures. Many patients don’t realize the full consequences of having to wear dentures all day. There can be many problems with dentures, including:
1. Inability to eat certain foods
2. Lowered ability to feel and taste foods
3. Lisping or clacking when speaking
4. Bad breath or smell
5. Pain or discomfort
6. The look of dentures
7. Self-consciousness and embarrassment
8. Looking old with drooping face
“People think of gum disease in terms of their teeth, but they don’t think about the fact that gum disease is a serious infection that can release bacteria into the bloodstream”
Dr. Robert Genco, editor Journal of Periodontology
Periodontal Infection is a Medical Problem
Periodontal disease is no longer thought of as just a dental problem. Research is finding many correlations between periodontal infection and serious medical problems. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease live deep under the gums and the underlying bone structures surrounding the teeth. Depending on your genetic predisposition and many other factors, these bacteria triger a chronic inflammation that continually challenges your immune system. The result is degeneration of the gums and destruction of the bone around the teeth with other serious health risks in the distant sites in the body.
Some Patients are At Higher Risk
These correlations are particularly serious for those patients who are in a higher risk category such as:
Those having a personal or family history of:
- Heart Disease
- Heart Attack
- Premature Childbirth
- Respiratory Diseases
Those having higher risk lifestyles, including:
- Under Chronic Stress
- Lack of effective daily brushing, flossing and missed professional dental hygiene visits
- Immune Compromised conditions
Heart Disease & Heart Attack
Recent studies have shown that people with advanced periodontal disease are 2.7 times more likely to suffer a heart attack.
Research has also shown that people with periodontal disease are 3 times more likely to suffer a stroke.
Women with periodontal disease are 7-8 times more likely to give birth prematurely to a low birth-weight baby.
Periodontal infection can raise blood sugar in diabetic patients. Periodontal treatment often results in a reduced need for insulin.
Periodontal bacteria in the mouth may be a risk factor in respiratory diseases.
Your Bacteria Can Be Transmitted
Research using DNA testing has found that periodontal bacteria can be transmitted from parent to child and spouse to spouse.