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The Startling Link between Gum Disease and Bone Loss

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Gum disease is a severe infection that can have far-reaching consequences, including bone loss. Here is how it happens.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Gum disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth forming plaque that builds up along the gum
  • It can often result in bone loss in the jaw because it attacks both gum tissue and jawbone
  • Knowing gum disease’s signs and symptoms can help detect and prevent bone loss
  • Prevent gum disease and bone loss with the help of The Dental Team

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a severe oral health issue that can lead to additional problems if left untreated. It can cause severe damage to your teeth, gums, and even the underlying bone structure of your jaw. 

Can gum infection spread to bone? Continue reading our guide for an expert answer to this and other questions about gum disease and tips on avoiding these risks in the first place. 

Can Gum Disease Cause Bone Loss?

The simple answer to this common question is yes – gum infection can spread to the bone. This happens when the bacteria that causes inflammation enters and colonizes the surrounding tissues of the tooth and gum. 

There can be an associated loss in bone support of the teeth due to this tissue destruction, which brings about dental mobility, periodontal pockets, gingival recession, and, eventually, complete tooth loss. 

This inflammation can spread from the gums to the bones around the teeth if left untreated, leading to bone loss. This is why early detection and treatment of gum disease is important, as it will help you avoid extensive damage.

Individuals can be proactive in avoiding further serious issues resulting from gum disease by seeking professional help early on, so it’s crucial to know the signs and symptoms of gum disease so you can take the necessary steps. 

The Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

Knowing the signs and symptoms of gum disease is vital to your oral health and can help detect gum disease early, slowing or even preventing bone loss in the end. Gum disease is often characterized by the following:

  • Red, tender or swollen gums
  • Frequent bleeding when brushing or flossing. 
  • Swollen gum tissue
  • Pain while eating or brushing
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Gum discoloration or sensitive teeth
  • Painless gum bleeding may also signal gum disease

It’s essential to visit a dentist if you are experiencing any signs of gum disease, as they can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend treatment if necessary.

Tips for Treating/Preventing Gum Disease and Bone Loss

Oral health is significant to overall wellness, yet gum disease and bone loss remain rampant for many individuals. The best way to prevent gum diseases and bone loss, according to The American Dental Association (ADA), is to:

  • Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly
  • Visit the dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning
  • Eat a balanced diet high in calcium-rich foods
  • Quit smoking and drinking alcohol

It’s also important to remember that gum disease can often result in bone loss in the jaw because it attacks both gum tissue and jawbone. For this reason, consider some of the following treatment options: 

These options can help fight bacteria causing the infection while promoting healthy gum tissue growth. Taking action now will help promote better oral health that lasts a lifetime. 

Other Potential Health Risks Associated with Gum Disease 

What are the other health risks associated with gum disease besides bone loss? Let’s look at how gum disease can affect your whole body.

Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Risk 

Periodontal disease has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. This is because the bacteria from periodontal infections can enter the bloodstream and affect cardiac functioning. 

A three-year study of individuals with chronic coronary artery disease found a correlation between teeth loss and an elevated risk of cardiovascular death by 17%

Respiratory Infections 

Gum disease has also been linked to pulmonary illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Bacteria from gum infections can be inhaled into the lungs, where they can cause respiratory illnesses over time. 

The risk is exceptionally high in people who already suffer from chronic respiratory conditions – e.g., smokers or those with asthma or COPD – due to weakened immune systems.

Diabetes Complications

Gum disease has also been linked to complications in diabetes management. People with diabetes are more likely to develop gum infections due to weakened immune systems, making it harder to fight off infection-causing bacteria.

People with diabetes need regular dental checkups to prevent any potential complications from developing due to poor oral hygiene habits. 

Make sure you see a dentist immediately if you think you have signs of gum disease bone loss.

Prevent Gum Disease with the Help of The Dental Team

They say prevention is better than cure, and this is especially true when you want to avoid the damaging consequences of gum diseases. Early prevention is the best step to prevent much more than simply bone loss, regardless of whether you’ve noticed signs of gum disease. 

The surest way to prevent gum disease and bone loss is to speak to your dentist, and if you are looking for a reliable dental practice to help, The Dental Team is an excellent choice. We have locations across Ontario, including Brampton, Mississauga, Milton, and Maple, and we are committed to providing comprehensive dental services to protect your gum health and prevent associated diseases. 

Our team of dentists aim is to detect and treat gum disease in its earliest stages – before it can cause significant damage to your gum tissue and underlying bone structure. 

We also offer preventive services to reduce the risk of gum infections, such as regular dental cleanings, night guards, and sports guards. Book an appointment with The Dental Team today if you’re looking for dental care.

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