When a tooth comes out and the cause is not an accident or injury, the number one cause is gum disease. Gum disease is the first stage in the process of a tooth dying and falling out, and gum disease begins with poor dental hygiene. Practicing good dental hygiene will greatly reduce the risk of gum disease, but regular visits to your local dentist office are also necessary to treat gum disease if it does occur. Gum disease can sometimes be caused by illness; it can be a side effect of some medications; or you can inherit it. Left untreated, gum disease will progress, and then it can cause tooth decay, destroy a tooth and cause it to fall out or require extraction. The good news is that our general dentist in Pineville can catch gum disease early and reverse it easily, as long as you come in for regular checkups.

There are always bacteria present in our mouths. Brushing your teeth and flossing gets rid of food particles and prevents them from creating “bad bacteria” that can grow and harm your gums. Despite this, nearly everyone gets gum disease at some point. Bacteria create plaque, a sticky film that irritates your gums. If not removed thoroughly, plaque can become hard; then it is called calculus or tartar. Plaque and tartar can be removed, and mild gum disease, called gingivitis, can be reversed with a professional teeth cleaning at the local dentist office. The difficulty comes if gingivitis is ignored and progresses to periodontitis, the more serious form of gum disease. At this stage, tartar is growing below the gum line, and treatment requires a procedure that goes under the gum line and down to the roots of the teeth.

If periodontitis is not treated, nerves and living tissue inside the affected teeth will begin to die. Eventually, the entire tooth will die. At this point, root canal is the only thing that can prevent the tooth from falling out. Toothaches are common at this stage, and sometimes the only option besides root canal is to have the tooth pulled.

All of this can be avoided by practicing good dental hygiene at home, and seeing the dentist at least once a year for checkups. Call our general dentist in Pineville for an appointment, and we can help you to understand how you can prevent gum disease and keep your teeth healthy, and keep them for life.