Periodontal Disease: Number One Cause of Adult Tooth Loss
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is an infection of the gum and bone that hold teeth in place. Affecting over 30% of the population, periodontal disease is the most common dental affliction among adults. Left untreated, it can result in serious, irreversible damage including tooth loss. To understand its impact, imagine that your teeth are like fence posts and that your gums and jaw bone are the soil. If the soil is washed or dug away, the fence posts will get wobbly and eventually fall over. Similarly, the bacteria in periodontal disease weakens gums and dissolves jaw bone so that the teeth are no longer held in place securely. You may have a tooth that looks fine and has no decay that gets loose and finally comes out. Fortunately, professional dental treatment can help stop and repair the damage caused by periodontal disease before it results in tooth loss.