Dental Consequences of Periodontal Disease
Tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease are the two most common dental problems in the United States. They are also both caused by the harmful bacteria in plaque. While tooth decay is problematic in its own right, gum disease can have serious consequences for your oral and overall health.
We here at Drs. Miller & Beitz Implants and Periodontics of Richmond specialize in periodontal maintenance. If you suffer from periodontal disease, we can help stop the spread of infection before it leads to greater complications. If left untreated, periodontal disease can result in the severe consequences listed below.
Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue retracts to a lower position on the tooth. This can leave the roots of your teeth exposed, resulting in some secondary issues. Exposed roots can cause severe sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages. It can also leave the roots more vulnerable to tooth decay.
The leading cause of gum recession is periodontal disease. Mild gum recession may be treated and reversed with improved oral hygiene and a scaling and root planing (deep cleaning). Severe gum recession may require surgical intervention, such as a soft tissue graft.
Gum recession should never be ignored because it is usually indicative of a larger problem like periodontal disease. Catching gum recession early can help us prevent other consequences of advanced periodontal disease.
As periodontal disease progresses from gingivitis to periodontitis, the infection will spread to the gum tissues, connective ligaments, and even the underlying bone. This bone, known as the alveolar ridge, contains the sockets that keep our teeth in their proper position. A dense and rigid jawbone is an important part of maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile.
The infection associated with periodontal disease will eventually cause the alveolar ridge to deteriorate. Bone deterioration is a serious problem that can threaten the life of a tooth. A deteriorated jawbone can also lead to a less youthful facial appearance.
Luckily, we specialize in bone grafting to help restore a deteriorated jaw. A bone graft is often a necessary part of the dental implant process. During your initial consultation, Dr. Miller or Dr. Beitz will be able to determine if a bone graft is right for you!
Because periodontal disease affects our supportive tissues, it can eventually cause the teeth to become loose. If left untreated, this deterioration can even result in tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
If you lose a tooth due to periodontal disease, we typically recommend a dental implant. A dental implant is a small titanium screw that we surgically embed into the jawbone. As a periodontist, Dr. Miller or Dr. Beitz is uniquely qualified to place dental implants.
During a brief healing period the implant and your jawbone will fuse, causing the screw to mimic the root component of a prosthetic tooth. For this reason, an implant-supported restoration is the next best thing to a natural tooth. Implants are now the gold standard when it comes to tooth replacements!
Schedule Your Appointment
Do not neglect your periodontal health! Without the proper treatment, gum disease can wreak havoc on your oral and bodily health. Call (804) 285-4867 to schedule your appointment now!