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How Does Periodontitis Cause Tooth Loss


Posted on 5/1/2024 by Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona
Older Asian woman flossing her teeth before appointment at Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona in Phoenix, AZPeriodontitis, or gum disease, is a serious condition that can permanently alter your dental structure. Indeed, leaving a periodontitis infection untreated for a long time can degrade your gums, causing your teeth to fall out. While the health effects of gum disease are common knowledge, few people know exactly how the condition contributes to tooth loss.

What Holds the Teeth in Place?


The tooth structure comprises the jawbone and periodontal ligament. The jawbone is typically the foundation of the teeth and holds the roots, which keeps the teeth stable. The periodontal ligament, on the other hand, is a strong tissue that helps to keep the teeth firmly rooted into the jawbone. It is also a biological shock absorber. It prevents excess strain on the jawbone and teeth when you chew.

So, How Does Gum Disease Cause Tooth Loss?


Getting diagnosed with periodontitis does not automatically mean you will lose your teeth. Tooth loss is a gradual process that can take months and even years. The condition starts off mildly, typically when bacteria from your food cling to your teeth and reproduce, forming a clingy film called plaque. This often happens in people who do not regularly brush their teeth. If poor oral hygiene continues, the plaque turns into a hardened coating called tartar.

The high numbers of bacteria in tartar irritate the gums, usually causing inflammation and bleeding. Over time, the gums will recede and leave deep pockets of space between them and the teeth. The pockets then become breeding grounds for bacteria as food bits get trapped within them. The increased bacteria activity irritates the gums even further, and the bacteria gradually spread to the jaw bone, where it causes bone loss. At the same time, the gums recede even further, and the pockets become deeper. This, combined with bone loss, makes the teeth looser, which makes them easy to come out when chewing or just by themselves.

Take Charge of Your Dental Health


Tooth loss from periodontitis is not always inevitable. It can be easily prevented with good oral hygiene and timely dental assistance. Pay us a visit today and let our skilled dentist help you protect your precious teeth.
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