When it comes to gum disease, your teeth and soft oral tissues aren’t the only things that suffer. Believe it or not, the symptoms and bone breakdown can transform the way you seem in the mirror. It’s easy to see why gum disease and facial form are so closely related once you understand how the disease advances and eventually leads to additional tooth loss. Continue reading to learn how it occurs and what you can do to prevent it.
The Progression of Gum Disease
During early stages of gum disease (gingivitis), your gums may bleed when brushing or flossing. You may also notice some redness and inflammation, which will make your soft tissues feel tender. You can cure these symptoms and restore your gum health with routine professional cleanings and good at-home oral hygiene practices. However, if the condition is not addressed, it will deteriorate.
Periodontitis is a condition in which bacteria attack your teeth and bone, forming deep pockets that readily trap food particles and other waste. As plaque and tartar build beneath the gum line, they erode the jawbone and cause teeth to loosen and finally fall out. While there are treatments available (such as antibiotics and scaling and root planing), this stage of gum disease cannot be reversed.
The Effects of Gum Disease on Facial Shape
When you analyze how gum disease causes tooth loss, you will notice that as the jawbone deteriorates, it loses its structure. As a result, the cosmetics of your smile suffer as a result. When you look at someone who doesn’t have teeth, their lips are generally pushed inward, making them appear much older than they are.
Your facial form will be substantially altered, from your facial angle and chin position to your bite and jowls. Because of the vertical lines that emerge on your face, tissues begin to sag, the chin pushes forward, and even your nose can appear larger.
You can continue to stimulate the jawbone and preserve a healthier, younger-looking appearance by replacing these missing teeth with dental implants.
Ways to Avoid Facial Collapse and Prevent Gum Disease
It is estimated that persons suffering from bone loss will appear at least ten years older than their actual age. If this isn’t something you want to go through, you’ll need to keep up with your oral hygiene regimen and reduce your chance of gum disease. You can accomplish this by:
- Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and rinsing with a mouthwash meant to treat gum disease.
- Maintaining regular dental checkups and cleanings with your dentist.
- Inquire about gum disease treatment at West Houston Periodontics as soon as you see your gums becoming swollen, red, or bleeding.
- Tobacco products and smoking should be avoided.
- Eating foods that promote good gum health and better tooth enamel.
Millions of people in the United States already have some sort of gum disease. Don’t let yourself become a statistic. Instead, take good care of your teeth and gums, and you’ll have a more youthful appearance for many years to come.
About our Practice
Want to improve your oral health? At West Houston Periodontics, we are specialists in periodontal care. By administering the proper treatment, we can not only help you regain your gum health, but we can also offer tips and techniques on ways to prevent it from happening in the first place. Contact us at (713) 365-9626 to learn more about what we can do for you and how to maintain your smile looking and feeling its best.