People often cite bad breath and bleeding while brushing as major inconveniences of gum disease, and these issues can certainly be unpleasant. It's important for you to know that untreated gum disease will only worsen and lead to more serious consequences. One of the most concerning results of prolonged gum disease is bone loss. The bacteria that is consistently present in your mouth will actually cause your jawbone to begin to deteriorate, and while this happens over a long period of time, it has a number of devastating problems. Here are some issues that you can face from bone loss.
Your teeth stay in place because of firmly fitting to your jawbone. As the bone begins to deteriorate as a result of advanced gum disease, the fit of some teeth will loosen. This is especially likely in parts of your mouth in which the gums are in worse shape. Over time, your loose teeth will actually fall out, leaving you with unsightly openings that will affect how you look and how you sound when you speak.
For people who have teeth knocked out in accidents or while playing sports, the common solution is often a dental implant. This cosmetic procedure offers more permanency than dentures, for example, and also provides a realistic appearance. When you get a dental implant, a post made of titanium is affixed to your jawbone, and the artificial tooth is mounted to that post. However, when you have bone loss as a result of advanced gum disease, the likelihood of getting a successful dental implant is low. The poor bone health means that the post will not stay attached to the bone, and this means that you'll have to look for other cosmetic procedures to correct your missing teeth.
Another big problem that you'll encounter from bone loss related to advanced gum disease is a change in the look of your face. As your jawbone loses density, it will get smaller. This can cause the bottom of your face — your chin and along your entire jawline — to essentially shrink. The result is an appearance that is highly unappealing, which is a major concern for anyone who is conscientious about his or her appearance. The good news is that you can avoid these problems by not only taking care of your gum health at home, but also by visiting the dentist for regular cleanings.
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