How Gum Disease Causes Tooth Loss

how gum disease causes tooth lossWhen good dental hygiene and recommended, routine dental care are implemented correctly, the goal is to prevent issues from forming and preserve your healthy, natural teeth. Still, tooth loss happens for a variety of reasons, and while accidents account for many of them, the majority of tooth loss cases could have been prevented. Though it doesn’t directly attack your tooth’s structure, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss; therefore, gum disease prevention, or prompt periodontal treatment, is an important part of preventing tooth loss.

Humble Roots

When gum disease first develops, it is known as gingivitis, and results from an excess of oral bacteria (the developers of dental plaque) accumulating along your gum line. As gingivitis, the condition can sometimes be reversed with immediate dental care, before gum disease has a chance to develop. Though sensitivity is rare, gingivitis can cause your gums to swell slightly, become red and glossy, and bleed when you brush and floss your teeth.

The Damage of Gum Disease

As it progresses, the infection in your gums will become so imbedded that curing it is no longer an option, and the damages it causes will likely be permanent. Besides destroying your gum tissues, severe gum disease can also spread to and deteriorate the jawbone underneath, which supports the roots of your teeth. By the time you seek treatment, you may have lost enough gum tissue and jawbone that tooth loss is inevitable (if you haven’t lost one or more teeth already).

What to Do After Tooth Loss

Though losing a tooth is permanent, that does mean that the situation is irreversible. If you lose one or more teeth (whether to gum disease or another cause), we may recommend tooth replacement with an appropriate number of dental implants. The small, prosthetic, root-like devices act as anchors, or roots, to secure a dental crown, partial denture, or complete denture, creating an incredibly lifelike replica of your teeth’s root-and-crown design.


Dr. Burds and his team focus the care they provide on enhancing every aspect of your dental health. To schedule an appointment, call Gateway Dental Group at (515) 244-9565. Located in Des Moines, IA, we proudly welcome patients from River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and all surrounding communities.