Gum disease isn't particularly serious in its early stages. Without professional treatment, gum disease will progress, causing a succession of increasingly serious dental problems. This can even cause your teeth to become loose and fall out. How can gum disease cause this level of damage, and how can the damage be reversed?
Late Stage Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis is one of the most common early forms of periodontal disease and is easily corrected. In its later stages, you may have pronounced gingival pockets, which is a deepening of the gingival sulcus (the space between the tooth and its surrounding gum tissues). The development of these pockets can degrade the tissues holding your teeth in place. Additionally, the infection resulting from your periodontal disease can begin to affect your jaw, meaning it's no longer able to securely anchor your teeth. This is why advanced periodontal disease can result in loose teeth. Can these teeth be saved?
Treating the Tooth
The loose tooth itself must be treated. Your dentist will professionally clean your teeth, and it's often the fact that you haven't received this treatment for quite some years that has led to your periodontal disease. Your dentist will remove hardened plaque from the surfaces of your teeth, removing the harmful microorganisms that have contributed to your periodontal disease. The roots of your teeth will also be treated, using a method called root planing. This smooths out the roots of your teeth, which encourages the reconnection of the ligaments that help to hold your teeth in place.
Stabilising the Tooth
Professional cleaning isn't enough to secure a loose tooth. Your dentist will perform a stabilisation procedure. If the teeth on either side of the affected tooth are secure, your dentist might splint the tooth. This means that the teeth will be attached to each other using a bonding agent, with the unaffected teeth acting as a splint to the loose tooth while its connective tissues repair themselves (which is now possible after professional cleaning). In extreme cases where periodontal disease has compromised the jaw, bone grafting might be needed to reinforce your jaw, allowing it to securely anchor your teeth.
A loose adult tooth is extremely significant and can quickly lead to the total loss of the tooth. Just because the tooth seems to have begun its end game, it doesn't mean that its fate has been sealed. See your dentist immediately, as emergency intervention can often save a tooth that has been destabilised by periodontal disease.
As a mum, I know how essential sport can be to children's development. Through team sports like soccer, kids learn persistence, sportsmanship and the value of supporting their team members. However, all that learning carries some risk as well, and a stray elbow or a ball to the face can result in oral injuries. I have been the mum rushing to the emergency room with a precious permanent tooth sitting in a cup of milk. Admittedly, at the time, I wasn't even sure if the cup of milk was the right solution. As a parent, you will face those situations, and I'm here to make sure you know what to do when they pop up. With this blog, let's explore children's dentistry and sports injuries together... I want you to have the info you need to stay cool, calm and collected, regardless of how many teeth are on the pitch.