Periodontal Disease, and Other Causes of Tooth Loss

periodontal disease and causes of tooth lossIn a nutshell, one of the most important goals of maintaining good hygiene and regular dental care is the preservation of your healthy, natural teeth and oral structures. In some cases, though, this may not always be possible. Whether by accident or by neglect, adults lose their permanent teeth at an alarming rate, and if not addressed promptly, the loss can have devastating effects on their long-term oral health. Today, we explore the common causes of tooth loss, including periodontal disease, and how they can cost you one or more teeth without proper care and attention.

Preventable Causes of Permanent Tooth Loss

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, frequently called gum disease, is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults due to the destruction it can cause before it is detected. What begins as a relatively minor gum infection (called gingivitis) can blossom into full blown gum disease, which involves rampant inflammation in your periodontal tissues. Left unchecked, the infection and inflammation can damage your gums, the ligaments between your teeth roots and jawbone, and the jawbone itself, leaving teeth without support and leading to their loss.

Jawbone Degradation

Jawbone deterioration can occur from severe periodontal disease, a systemic issue like osteoporosis, or as a side effect of untreated tooth loss, among other things. For instance, losing a tooth’s root results in fewer nutrients sent to your jawbone, and over time, it can lose strength and density due to the nutrient deficiency. All bones atrophy if they are not used.  This includes jaw bones.  Tooth loss without replacements can lead to loss of jaw bone.

Untreated Dental Infections

Like periodontal disease, infectious tooth decay begins as a relatively minor bacterial infection. However, once decay sets into your tooth, it is rarely arrested or reversed, and likely will only grow worse until you have it restored. You will need professional treatment to preserve your healthy tooth structure before the infection spreads, which can result in tooth damage severe enough to make tooth extraction and replacement the best option.


To learn how to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life, subscribe to this blog, and visit Dr. Kania for a consultation. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann M. Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. Dr. Kania also offers the Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) for minimally-invasive, scalpel-free gum grafting. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, contact her office today at (760) 642-0711.