Gum disease is a major reason why people lose teeth as they get older, but this patient is under 40 years of age. This patient came to me once at Nundah Village Dental complaining that the front teeth had moved creating a gap. The main complaint was that the smile wasn’t even anymore, and the patient hoped to get Invisalign to straighten the teeth. Sadly, what has happened is a perfect storm of a smoking history, lack of 6 monthly professional cleans at the dentist for nearly 10 years, and probably a genetic modifier. Gum Disease, or periodontal disease, occurs when the bacteria growing around the roots of the teeth in scale (tartar or calculus), cause a permanent chronic infection, and eventually this leads to tissue and bone destruction. Once the jaw bone is lost, the teeth become loose and drift like pylons in soft mud near a jetty. The gums recede leaving the roots of the teeth sensitive, and people become very disappointed to learn that the loss of bone is mostly irreversible. Treating the teeth when they are sensitive is another challenge, and in this case I recommended specialist intervention as soon as possible.
Loose teeth therefore can have devastating issues for a patient’s confidence and well being. I recently saw a 92 year old man with beautiful clean teeth. He has never missed coming for his check and clean every 6 months, and is healthy and can eat whatever he wants. How often do you service your car? Why? – People service their car more often than their teeth, spend more buying a car, and expect to often trade it in for little value 5 years later only to spend more to buy another car. I’m sorry, but prevention wins, and you can’t buy a new mouth. Any dental replacement will be a poor second to what you started out with in life. Get your teeth into service and love your mouth again!