How Gum Disease Causes Tooth Loss

Gum disease is a serious dental condition that can lead to other harmful dental issues if not taken care of. Also referred to as “periodontitis,” gum disease is an infection in the gums that damages soft tissue in your gums. If left untreated it can damage the bone in your jaw that supports your teeth. Below you will find how gum disease causes tooth loss and what you can do to avoid the condition.

How Gum Disease Causes Tooth Loss

Untreated gum disease can lead to serious issues, such as tooth loss. Gum disease begins with bacterial growth in your mouth. This can be caused by poor oral hygiene, an unhealthy diet, and poor lifestyle habits like smoking. Gum inflammation, also referred to as “gingivitis,” can be treated by a dentist. However, if it goes untreated it can lead to gum disease. This is because the inner layer of your gums (and the bone) pulls away from your teeth. This forms pockets where debris can collect and become infected. When this happens, the bone and connective gum tissue break down, and your teeth are no longer effectively anchored in place. This can cause your teeth to become loose and lead to complete tooth loss.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gum disease requires early intervention in order to avoid serious dental issues. Sometimes gum disease is accompanied with a number of clear symptoms, but it can also develop without obvious signs. This is why it’s important to stay consistent with your daily oral care routine, in addition to your six-month dental checkups. A dentist in Arcadia can regularly monitor your oral health and catch any symptoms of gingivitis and gum disease early on.

Some of the common symptoms of gum disease include the following: loose or shifting teeth; red and swollen gums; gums that bleed after you brush your teeth; bad breath or a poor taste in your mouth; receding gums; change in the way your teeth feel when you bite down; and the formation of deep pockets between your teeth and gums. If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule a dental visit as soon as you can. A dentist can diagnose the issue and provide gum disease treatment in Arcadia if necessary.

Gum Disease Prevention

Preventing gum disease is the best way to protect your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Gingivitis is the first sign of trouble when it comes to gum disease. The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed. Proper plaque control can ensure that gingivitis doesn’t form on your teeth in the first place. Consider the following tips to ensure your oral health stays in good shape.


It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use toothpaste with fluoride for optimal oral health. Brushing helps remove the plaque on the surface of your teeth. For the best results, replace your toothbrush every three months (or sooner if you notice any fraying).


Floss at least once a day to remove harmful debris and plaque from all the places your toothbrush can’t reach. Making this a part of your everyday oral health routine can help prevent gum disease and gingivitis.


Regularly using an antibacterial mouthwash can help prevent gingivitis, fight bad breath, and reduce the harmful plaque on your tooth’s surface. It can also reduce the bacteria in your mouth which helps prevent gingivitis.

Lifestyle Habits:

Your dental and oral health are linked, so it’s important to focus on healthy lifestyle habits. Avoiding harmful habits such as smoking and a poor diet can help keep your oral health in good shape.

Regular Dental Visits:

Visiting the dentist every six months can help monitor your oral health to ensure gingivitis and gum disease are at bay. If you have a history of oral health issues you may need to visit the dentist more often.

Dangers of Gum Disease

As one of the leading causes of infection and death among adults across the entire world, the dangers of gum disease cannot go understated. Through a series of stages, gum disease advances through the mouth until it spreads the infection to your whole body. It can be prevented and treated at its earlier stages, but it becomes harder to treat the more advanced it gets.

Dangers of Gum Disease

Below, our dentist in Arcadia will speak on the biggest dangers of gum disease while helping you learn the different stages of this condition. You’ll become more familiar with what to expect and how to spot the signs and symptoms of gum disease early so you can get the best treatment.

Risks of Gum Disease

Gum disease can put you at risk for decay, infection, disease, and even death. You might be more at risk for periodontitis and other forms of gum disease if you pose any of these risks already:

  • Bad health habits
  • Smoking and drinking heavily
  • Pregnancy or hormonal changes
  • Prior diagnosis of gingivitis
  • Nutrition deficiency
  • Poor diet and obesity
  • Genetic predisposition

If you are at risk of gum disease or you have been previously diagnosed, it is important to reach out to your dentist to get the best treatment ASAP. The longer you wait, the worse your disease will get. This can lead to more advanced dental health issues down the line that can cost you your wallet – and possibly even your life.

Stages of Gum Disease

The best way to practice prevention is to visit your dentist regularly and teach yourself how to recognize the different stages of gum disease. You can find them as follows:

Stage 1: The Early Signs

Gum disease can sometimes be hard to spot in its early stages, as there may not be any symptoms. It will not be until the next stage that you start to notice swollen gums or painful teeth.

You might notice some slight bleeding when you eat hard food such as candy or apples. If the bleeding becomes more severe, keep an eye out and contact your dentist immediately.

Stage 2: Gingivitis

This is the most serious and easily reversible part of gum disease. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. This is when you start to notice symptoms like swelling, irritation, or sensitivity. You will notice symptoms that cause you pain when this stage is complete. You can begin treatment with prescribed products that will reverse the effects of gingivitis by visiting your dentist.

Stage 3: Periodontitis

Gingivitis can progress to periodontitis if not treated quickly and effectively. Inflammed, tender gums can develop early in gum disease. These gums will likely be very painful. Your gums may also be prone to bleeding when you brush your teeth.

Your gums might have become pale and your teeth may feel loose. You should immediately call your dentist if you notice this. This will ensure that your teeth end up saved.

Stage 4: Moderate Gum Disease

Moderate periodontitis appears as visible receding gums and jawbone disintegration. Your gums recede and expose your roots, causing them to fall out. It is also easier for decay and infection to spread throughout the mouth. Your gum disease can become more severe the longer you let it spread. If your gum disease proves advanced, you should immediately contact a doctor.

Stage 5: Advanced Gum Disease

Advanced periodontitis is a condition that can only be treated if the gum disease is not treated. You will almost certainly lose one or more of your teeth in this period, and your gums could never heal without surgery.

You may be able if your gum disease is detected early enough to receive antibiotic treatment. There is not much you can do if the disease is advanced. It may be necessary to remove your teeth and look for more advanced restorative dentistry options.

Recognize and Treat Gum Disease ASAP!

Experiencing any of the above signs and symptoms of gum disease? Or worried about ending up too late for treatment? Reach out to our Smiles of Arcadia specialists ASAP. We offer advanced gum disease treatment in Arcadia that you can follow along with a personalized treatment plan depending on the nature of your gums.

Can Teens Have Gum Disease?

The teenage years can be so challenging. You’re caught in this strange purgatory between childhood and adulthood where you’re constantly experiencing stress as a result of physical, social, and hormonal changes. One unfortunate side effect is that a lot of teens experience oral health issues, including gum disease.

Can Teens Have Gum Disease?

The existence of teen gum disease surprises a lot of people. The truth is that you can develop gum disease at any age, and hormonal changes can make you even more prone to oral health complications. If you combine less than ideal oral health habits with the hormonal changes that accompany the teen years, you have a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, with a little education and improved habits, you can keep teen gum disease at bay.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection of the gums that causes inflammation, irritation, and sometimes pain. That by itself doesn’t sound too scary, but there are serious risks involved. Untreated gum disease will eventually spread beyond the gums to the jaw.

As the infection progresses, it can physically eat away at the structures that support your teeth and hold them in place. This can cause permanent tooth loss. If that wasn’t enough, chronic gum disease is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease is caused by the build-up of bacteria along the gums and on your teeth. Generally speaking, a regular oral hygiene routine is enough to remove bacteria before they can cause issues. However, are you skipping brushing or flossing? Then bacteria has an opportunity to harden onto your teeth in the form of plaque.

Once plaque has formed, it’s important to remove it before it further solidifies into tartar. Tartar is also called dental calculus, and it has to be removed by a professional. In both forms, bacteria are essentially free to go about their business. This irritates your gums and leads to further bacterial growth.

How Do You Treat Gum Disease?

Your dentist in Arcadia is the expert when it comes to treating gum disease, but it is always better to catch it early. That’s why it’s so important to go and see your dentist for a check-up twice a year. Thanks to x-rays and your dentist’s keen eyes, these bi-annual appointments are the most likely to detect even the sneakiest forms of gum disease. So you can receive treatment before there’s any permanent damage.

If it’s relatively early, your gum disease treatment in Arcadia may be limited to a thorough cleaning. Scaling and root planing are two examples, and they both use stronger dental tools to scrape away plaque and tartar that have formed on your teeth and below the gum line. Afterward, you may need to take an antibiotic for a couple of weeks to ensure the bacteria are all gone.

In more advanced cases you may require surgery or a gum graft after your mouth has been purged of the offending bacteria. With any luck that will resolve any damage. But if you have lost teeth you can discuss tooth replacement options with your dentist.

Top Tips for Teens

Being a teenager is hard, so having yet another thing to worry about probably isn’t what you want. The good news is that you can protect your teeth and your gums with relatively little effort as long as you adapt your oral hygiene routine to your schedule. Here are some suggestions that may help.

  • Take a portable toothbrush and toothpaste to school. Especially if you eat meals on campus or have after school activities that run late. Just make sure the toothbrush is kept in a case with air holes to prevent bacterial growth. And change your toothbrush every 3 months or so.
  • Keep floss by your bed to remind you. If you hate flossing, talk to your parents about using a water flosser. It isn’t as good, but it’s better than nothing.
  • Don’t smoke. We know you’ve heard it a million times, but it is one of the worst things you can do to your teeth and gums.

Foods that Cause Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious condition that can result in bone loss as well as tooth loss if it is allowed to progress. For the majority of people, keeping gum disease at bay is as easy as brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and seeing their dentist in Arcadia every six months.

Foods that Cause Gum Disease

With that said, we’re all imperfect people, and there are going to be times where we forget to prioritize our oral hygiene. These little lapses don’t always have major consequences, but they do leave the door open for bacteria to infect our gums. Those risks may be even higher if you’ve been eating some of the foods and drinks most commonly associated with gum disease.

Caffeinated Drinks

Caffeinated drinks including soda, tea, coffee, and your favorite sports drinks all have one thing in common. They dry out your mouth.

When it comes to your mouth’s natural defenses, saliva reigns supreme. Unfortunately, all of these drinks decrease saliva production. The absence of normal saliva levels makes it easy for bacteria to attach to teeth and attack your gums.

Acidic Food and Drink

Acidic drinks like wine, coffee, and many fruit juices actually weaken your enamel temporarily.

It’s really important to not brush immediately after eating or drinking something acidic because your toothbrush may actually do more damage while your enamel is compromised. Instead, you should rinse with water then wait about 20 minutes before brushing.

If you don’t rinse and then brush, you’re giving bacteria better access to your teeth, and you’re more likely to develop tooth decay. Tooth decay is negative enough on its own, but it can also lead to and aggravate gum disease.

Sugary Food and Drink

Candy, sodas, and anything exceptionally sweet is a big problem for your teeth and gums. The bacteria that live on plaque actually feed on sugar and produce an acid as a byproduct. This acid physically weakens your enamel, which makes it easier for bacteria to infiltrate your natural defenses against tooth decay and gum disease.

Sticky Foods

There are a lot of sticky foods out there. But most of them contain a lot of sugar or a lot of starch. Both are problematic, so you need to be careful when you eat things like taffy or dried fruit.

Both starches and sugars eventually break down into sugar, and all sticky foods have a nasty habit of sticking to the tiny crevices in and between your teeth. It’s really easy for them to become safe havens where bacteria are allowed to thrive out of reach of your saliva.

Sharp Foods

The ultimate example of a sharp food contributing to gum disease is popcorn. In most circumstances the snack is relatively harmless as long as you brush and floss regularly. However, there are moments when popcorn can become a real problem.

Those tiny, sharp husks can sometimes get wedged between your tooth and your gum line. Not only is it painful, but it can easily turn into an abscess. If this happens to you, then schedule an emergency appointment with Smiles of Arcadia.

Handling Gum Disease

A surprisingly large percentage of Americans have some form of gum disease, and the number increases with age. Fortunately, treatment options are available to help you restore your health and save your teeth. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Red, irritated gums
  • Bleeding when you floss
  • Gums that seem to have shrunken away from the tooth
  • The feeling that one or more teeth are loose
  • Pain when you drink cold liquids or chew

Then contact your local dentist to set up an appointment for gum disease treatment in Arcadia.