Aging is a natural part of life. With aging, we will experience a lot of changes. Yet, some of the changes may not be due to aging at all. Tooth loss may seem like an inevitable part of aging. However, it is often the result of an underlying condition. Advanced gum disease can cause your teeth to loosen and fall out without treatment. The simple yet destructive disease can progress silently. You may not know you have gum disease until it is moderate to severe. Unfortunately, it can have serious consequences for your oral health.
Advanced Gum Disease
Gum disease is a condition that targets the soft tissues of the gums. While there are several factors involved in developing gum disease, one of the most common is poor oral hygiene. Plaque is a form of harmful bacteria that clings to your teeth. Without proper hygiene, it will continue to build and irritate the gums. In its earliest stages, gum disease can cause swelling and redness of the gums. You may even notice bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth.
As it advances, the inflammation worsens. The gums will begin to recede due to the irritation from plaque buildup. As they recede, they create small pockets between the teeth and gums. This will invite harmful bacteria to thrive and continue to build.
When gum disease worsens, the gums receive much more damage. The pockets that form collect more bacteria, creating a terrible domino effect. Additionally, the receding gums will eventually expose the tooth roots. This can increase your risk of tooth decay and sensitivity. The infection and inflammation can lead to bone loss around the teeth. Ultimately, this can affect the stability of your teeth.
Weakening of Tooth Support
As with many diseases, gum disease continually worsens without proper treatment. A crucial part of your tooth structure is your ligaments. These help keep your teeth in place. Unfortunately, gum disease damages the ligaments and fibers that hold teeth in place. This can lead to a breakdown of your bite and function.
As teeth lose their support, the alignment of your bite can become irregular. A bite is how your top and bottom teeth sit together with your mouth closed. When this becomes altered or misaligned, it can cause discomfort or difficulty in chewing. It can also make it more difficult to clean your teeth properly.
When your teeth loosen or become mobile, it can increase the risk of falling out. At the very least, it may damage your other teeth. With infection, you may need a tooth extraction to prevent any further complications. Unfortunately, tooth loss can affect the look and function of your smile. Also, once you lose one tooth, it can increase your chances of losing more.
Another issue associated with gum disease is bone loss. The bone that supports your teeth can deteriorate due to advanced gum disease. As a result, it can actually change the look of your face. Your bones and teeth help create the structure and contours of your face.
Along with your face, the infection of gum disease can spread to other parts of your body.