Gum disease, medically referred to as periodontitis, is more than just an oral health issue. It’s an alarm bell, warning of potential danger ahead. But what happens when we ignore this alarm? Let’s dive into the repercussions of untreated gum disease and its link to tooth loss.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Gingivitis: This is the earliest stage. You might notice some bleeding when brushing or flossing. Thankfully, gingivitis is reversible with proper oral hygiene.
Mild to Moderate Periodontitis: If gingivitis is left unchecked, it progresses. At this stage, the gums start pulling away from the teeth, creating pockets. These pockets are a haven for bacteria.
Advanced Periodontitis: The final stage where the connective tissue and bone holding your teeth in place start to deteriorate. This damage is often irreversible.
Tooth Loss: A Grim Reality
As periodontitis progresses, the stability of your teeth is jeopardised. The deeper the pockets, the looser the teeth become. Without the essential support of gum tissue and bone, teeth begin to shift, loosen, and eventually fall out. Tooth loss isn’t just an aesthetic concern; it impacts chewing, speech, and overall oral health.
The Domino Effect
Tooth loss might seem like the worst-case scenario, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. When a tooth is lost:
Adjacent teeth are affected: They might shift, affecting your bite and leading to further oral complications.
Jawbone deterioration: With no tooth root to stimulate it, the jawbone starts to shrink. This can alter the shape of your face, making you appear older.
Dietary changes: With fewer teeth, you might avoid certain foods, depriving your body of necessary nutrients.
Self-esteem issues: Missing teeth can impact your confidence, affecting your social interactions and overall well-being.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
The message is clear: don’t let gum disease go untreated. Regular dental check-ups, brushing twice daily, flossing, and maintaining a balanced diet are crucial. Catching and treating gum disease early can save not just your teeth, but also prevent a cascade of related health issues.
In conclusion, gum disease isn’t just about gums. It’s a window into your overall health, and its neglect can lead to far-reaching consequences. Prioritise your oral health, and your body will thank you.
If you’re concerned about gum disease, would like to book a consultation or would like more information about gum disease, please call us on 020 3925 1676 to speak with our friendly team or fill out our contact form.