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Can Gum Disease Damage Your Bones? A Dentist Answers
Gum disease affects many people and is a painful condition. It is caused by bacteria that multiply in the gums and cause an infection. If you do not treat it, it can even damage the bones. This may reduce your chances of getting dental restorations after treatment. Keep reading to learn more about gum disease.
Complications of gum disease
If a patient does not receive early treatment, there are many potential complications. For example, the bone in the jaw can be destroyed. Other supporting structures can also be weakened, causing the teeth to be loosened. It is also possible that the teeth will need to be extracted. Some of the other issues can include:
- Abscesses, or infections, in the teeth
- Loose teeth that interfere with eating
- Increased risk of diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart disease
- Higher risk of pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia and low birth weight
- Receding gums
- Exposed teeth roots
Gum disease treatments
If the inflammation continues where the patient brushes and flosses, then the dentist might recommend surgery. Gum flap surgery is a common procedure for this type of condition. The dentist will remove any deposits that are under the gums. The patient will be under anesthesia for this procedure.
The gums will be lifted. This allows the dentist to access the roots of the teeth. Then the dentist can stitch the gums into place. This can prevent the disease from progressing to damage the bones.
Bone grafting for damaged bones
Sometimes, the bones will have already begun to weaken. If this is the case, then the patient will need to have bone grafting. This procedure can often be done along with gum flap surgery. This will help the lost bone to grow back.
The dentist will remove a portion of bone from another place in the patient’s body. This bone might come from the soft palate or elsewhere. Sometimes, a synthetic bone may be used. That prevents the need for invasive surgery.
The dentist will place the bone against the patient’s existing jaw. Over the next several months, the graft will begin to integrate with the existing bone. A patient might get hormones that are designed to stimulate bone growth. One reason for bone grafting surgery is to allow for dental implants.
Existing gum disease
Patients who already have gum disease will need to have regular dental follow-ups. That way, the disease can be prevented from continuing. The patient will need to change their oral hygiene habits. Cooperation with the dentist’s instructions can make a positive outcome more likely. With enough effort, periodontal disease can be eliminated from the patient.
Get gum disease treatment today
If you have gum disease, remember that it can damage your bones. If this is the case, then you will need to have bone grafting to treat it. Unfortunately, this tends to be a rather invasive procedure. The good news is that you can prevent gum disease with regular dental visits.
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Call our Rohnert Park Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.
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