Did you know that gum diseases can destroy your jawbone, thus causing you to lose teeth? Keep reading to learn more about the effects of gum disease on your bone health.

Watch on YouTube: “Understanding Gum Disease From Colgate”
Gum Disease & Tooth Loss. Video Courtesy: Colgate

Gum Disease: Periodontitis

Gum disease (periodontitis) is a local infection around the supporting structures of the teeth.

Periodontitis causes bone loss, which results in the loss of your teeth. [1]

Causes of Gum Disease

Gum infections are a result of several factors, which include:

  • Tobacco smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Genetic Disorders
  • Age

Source: NIH [2]

Post-menopausal women risk developing chronic periodontitis if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. [3]

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

Now that you know about the effects of gum disease, learn about this condition’s warning signs: [4]

  • Tooth loss
  • Bad breath
  • Swollen gums
  • Receding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Plaque or tartar buildup
Plaque (a sticky bacterial film) may harden and form calculus. If not cleaned professionally, it can inflame your gums. [5]

What is Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is defined as a decrease in bone mineral density, which is caused due to imbalance between bone resorption and formation. [6]

This increases the risk of bone fractures.

How Is Osteoporosis Related to Gum Disease?

Inflammation caused by gum disease weakens the bone and leads to low bone mass, which causes the teeth to fall off.

🤯 Poor oral hygiene can lead to bacteria buildup, which results in swollen gums, known as gingivitis.

😔 Furthermore, if untreated, it causes infection in the surrounding tissues. This leads to gum disease (periodontitis), as discussed earlier.

😱 Both osteoporosis and gum disease can be each other’s risk factors and mutually impact bone loss.

😮 Gum disease destroys the bone due to bacterial infestation, which may further lead to the development of osteoporosis. [7]

😕 Jaw bone resorption may further lead to tooth loss and loss of attachment of gums from the teeth.

Old age, smoking, and vitamin D deficiency are shared risk factors for bone loss due to gum diseases.

Gum disease can aggravate bone loss if you have preexisting osteoporosis.

Chronic periodontitis requires flap surgery and regenerative bone surgery for the destroyed bone. [8]

How to Cure Gum Disease?

Here is how you can prevent and cure gum diseases: [9]

  •  Follow proper oral hygiene
  •  Quit smoking
  •  Professional cleanings
  •  Tarter control treatments
  •  Antibiotic medications
  •  Implants for missing teeth
Vitamin D supplements and hormone (estrogen) replacement therapy (HRT) are other treatment options.

Prevent Gum Disease Early

Early prevention can help you avoid the effects of gum disease on bone health.

This starts with good oral health habits and professional cleanings from a dentist you can trust.

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Tooth loss & gum disease can also affect other health conditions like: [10]

  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Pregnancy
  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory diseases

Bone cannot regenerate on its own after chronic periodontitis.

However, periodontal regeneration using bone grafts and tissue-stimulating proteins is possible.

These treatments can undo the effects of gum disease on bone health and regrow the lost bone tissue to support dental implants for teeth replacement.

Risk factors for different types of gum diseases include: [11]

  • Obesity
  • Genetics
  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Hormonal changes
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Certain diseases and medications

Adopting good oral hygiene habits is the best way to prevent gum disease and tooth loss.

Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once.

Eat more nutritious foods and visit a dentist every 6 months for regular teeth cleanings.

Gum disease can affect your bone health

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