The number one reason for tooth loss is not decay, but periodontal (gum) disease. Infection of the gums can remain completely painless or without symptoms right up to the point of losing your teeth. Warning signs are bleeding gums from brushing or flossing. Another symptom is loose or shifting teeth. If this condition is taken care of in the early stages, there are nonsurgical methods to stop the infection. Once the problem has reached advanced stages, surgery may be your only solution.
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Ongoing medical research indicates that infection in the gums has become linked to life-threatening conditions such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses. What's worse is that the American Dental Association has provided statistics that show 8 out of 10 adults in the United States have gum infection at some stage. Dentists are regarding periodontal (gum) disease as a much worse problem than just losing your teeth. What used to be considered a problem that you can't die from is being regarded as a much more serious health condition.
As the bacteria from gums travels throughout the bloodstream, it affects other parts of the body and increases the risks of serious health problems. The American Academy of Periodontology reports, "studies found periodontal infection may contribute to the development of heart disease, increase the risk of premature, underweight births, and pose a serious threat to people whose health is already compromised due to diabetes and respiratory diseases." Click here to learn more about gum recession.
When gum infection is detected and treated in the early stages, nonsurgical methods can be very effective in preventing the spread of the bacteria and eliminating the problem. Once the infection becomes severe, surgery may be the only option. Both types of treatment are generally covered under most insurance plans.
You don't want to have any teeth missing, as just one gap can allow the
other teeth to start to shift and move. This is not good, because once a
tooth is missing, bone loss in the jaw occurs. The shift can affect your
chewing and how many nutrients you absorb from your food. Your selections of
food may change to softer, easier-to-eat foods that can cause weight gain. A
lot of times the missing teeth can affect your speech, and your face can
take on a sunken look that makes you look and feel older than you are.
Missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants for as many teeth as are needed. They come up through the gums, so they look completely like your own teeth. They function just like real teeth, so you can eat whatever foods you want. No one will notice that they are not your natural teeth. Click here to learn more about dental implants.
Numerous studies have been made on the effect gum disease can have on
serious health conditions such as heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. They
have all reached the same conclusions – that dental health does play a role
in maintaining your overall health. Overall wellness and good vitality are
also derived from strong teeth that can chew nutritious food properly and
gums that protect the function of the teeth.
Dr. Blandford recognizes the importance of dental health, and he goes beyond merely diagnosing and repairing a problem, the approach of most dental professionals. He has begun a new process that tracks your dental health at each visit. With this information, you and Dr. Blandford can devise specific health goals. He works together with each patient to achieve these identified goals.
Medical research has shown that there is a very strong link between gum
infection and conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even
some forms of cancer. We take these possibilities very seriously at our
practice. We utilize oral DNA testing to identify genetic susceptibility to
inflammation and infection of the gums. This type of testing also provides
the types of bacteria in the mouth, so the prescribed medication will be
most effective in reversing the problem.
These tests are quick, noninvasive, and virtually painless. DNA testing allows us to create a specific program of treatment just for you.
We can help arrest your gum disease and bring your smile back to health. Give us a call today at (214) 369-9966.
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