The Relationship between Gum Disease and Jawbone Loss

October 31, 2016 — by Dr.Thomas Tang
Tags: Gum Disease Restorative Dentistry

Illustration of a periodontal procedureAt Brookfield Family Dentistry, Dr. Thomas Tang and his team provide general dentistry services of the highest standard to their valued patients. These services are essential to keeping the mouth healthy and free from periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Gum disease is the most common disease among American adults, with roughly three-quarters of the population affected to some degree. Unfortunately, gum disease is also the most common - and ultimately preventable - cause of tooth loss among American adults.

Tooth loss is just one of several profoundly negative consequences that can occur as the result of advanced gum disease. Another lesser known consequence is jawbone loss. This jawbone loss can affect the appearance of the face, the integrity and strength of the bite, and the health of the other structures of the mouth. Dr. Tang discusses the relationship between gum disease and jawbone loss during consultations at his Brookfield, WI dental practice so that patients understand how important it is to maintain good periodontal health.

If you are interested in achieving and maintaining optimal gum health, we invite you to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Thomas Tang by contacting Brookfield Family Dentistry today.

How Does Gum Disease Cause Jawbone Loss?

Gum disease occurs in two stages. The first of these stages is gingivitis. During this stage, gum disease is relatively easy to manage if treatment is provided in a timely fashion. Generally, the inflammation of the gum tissue that occurs during gingivitis is mild, and any damage that occurs can be reversed through general and restorative dental care.

If left untreated, gingivitis often progresses into the more severe form of gum disease, periodontitis. During this stage, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating periodontal pockets in which bacteria can find refuge. These bacteria begin eating away at the gums and the exposed tooth roots, causing the periodontal pockets to become larger. As a result, the underlying jawbone tissues become accessible to the bacteria and the eroding effects of their toxins. Simultaneously, the bacteria cause deterioration of the jawbone, the gums, and the teeth. If left untreated at this point, gum disease will result in the loss of one or more teeth, which in turn will leave the jawbone tissues even further exposed and vulnerable to damage.

Can Jawbone Loss Be Treated?

Jawbone loss can absolutely be treated, if it is not first prevented. Before it can be treated, however, gum disease must first be eradicated from the mouth. At that point, treatment of the jawbone will depend on the extent to which gum disease has damaged the various tissues of the mouth. A full-mouth reconstruction plan will address the entire mouth, replacing teeth and rebuilding the jaw through bone grafting procedures as necessary. Dr. Tang will discuss your treatment options with you after evaluating your mouth.

Learn More about Gum Disease and Jawbone Loss

To learn more about gum disease and jawbone loss, please contact Brookfield Family Dentistry today.