Last week, we discussed the various stages of gum disease and how it can destroy your smile as the disease progresses. Unlike tooth decay, gum disease does not directly attack your tooth structure, but rather it slowly erodes the foundation that holds your teeth in place and nourishes them. To underscore the importance of preventing and controlling gum disease, Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania, explains why a strong and healthy foundation is important to your smile.
Jawbone–Like Soil for Your Teeth
The lower portion of your teeth extend into one, two, or three roots (on average), depending on the tooth. The roots are embedded in your jawbone via ligaments, which anchors your teeth in place and provides them nutrients through their roots. When periodontitis (severe gum disease) advances past your periodontal tissue, this supporting structure of jawbone is its next target.
When your roots are stimulated by biting or chewing, your body knows to send your jaw a certain allotment of nutrients to support them. If one or more of these teeth are lost, your jaw receives fewer nutrients and begins to atrophy,this may result in a lack of support for your remaining teeth and lead to further tooth loss. Gum disease, which is the number one cause of adult tooth loss in America, can work in tandem with nutrient-deficiency to render your jawbone unable to perform its duties.
The Purpose of Your Gums
The soft periodontal tissue that surrounds your jawbone and tooth roots adds further stability for your teeth to withstand the pressures of biting, chewing, and speaking. Your gums also act as a seal that covers and protects the root portion of your tooth, which is not covered by the enamel that protects your tooth’s crown. As periodontal disease erodes the tissue that connects your gums to your teeth, your exposed roots become vulnerable to infection and decay. As your gums separate and lose their hold on your teeth, your teeth can become loose and eventually fall out, or require extraction.
Excellent Periodontal Health in Encinitas
Don’t let your smile’s foundation crumble. To learn more about protecting and improving your periodontal health, contact Dr. Kania at our Encinitas periodontal care office by calling (706) 642-0711. We serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.