Why Untreated Periodontitis Can Lead To Tooth Loss

Did you know that periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults? This condition, caused by inflammation and infection of the gums, can lead to serious health problems. Here is what you should know.

teeth close up

Periodontitis: Cause of Tooth Loss

Periodontitis is a type of gum disease that leads to inflammation and loss of the tissue surrounding and supporting your teeth. If not treated, periodontitis can destroy the bone that holds your teeth in place, eventually causing them to fall out. Periodontitis is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. When plaque does not get removed by brushing and flossing, it turns into tartar, a hard deposit that can only be removed with professional cleaning. Bacteria in plaque and tartar produce toxins that irritate and inflame your gums. This triggers your body’s immune system to fight the infection. In the process, your gums begin to recede from your teeth. As the disease progresses, pockets develop between your gums and teeth. These pockets fill with plaque and tartar and become breeding grounds for more bacteria. The toxins produced by these bacteria cause further irritation and inflammation, and the bone surrounding the tooth begins to break down. As periodontitis progresses, more bone is destroyed, and the gums pull away from the teeth even more, eventually leading to tooth loss.

How to Prevent and Treat Periodontitis?

The best possible way to prevent this condition is to practice good oral hygiene. It means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and getting regular professional cleanings. If you already have periodontitis, it is essential to get treatment to prevent it from getting worse. Treatment may involve scaling and root planing (a deep cleaning that removes plaque and tartar from below the gum line), followed by regular professional cleanings. Antibiotics may be required in some circumstances to help manage the illness. If your periodontitis is severe, you may need surgery to restore the bone and tissue around your teeth.

At our dental office, we can help you prevent or treat periodontitis. We offer a full range of dental services, from preventive care to restorative and cosmetic procedures.