When one or more teeth are missing, it can lead to jaw bone loss at the site of the gap. This loss of jaw bone can develop into additional problems, both with your appearance and your overall health. You may experience pain, problems with your remaining teeth, and altered facial appearance, and eventually even the inability to speak and eat normally. In that same way that muscles are maintained through exercise, bone tissue is maintained by use. Natural teeth are embedded in the jaw bone, and stimulate the jaw bone through activities such as chewing and biting.
Gum disease has traditionally been treated by eliminating the gum pockets by trimming away the infected gum tissue and by re-contouring the uneven bone tissue. Although this is still an effective way of treating gum disease, new and more sophisticated procedures are used routinely today. One of these advancements is guided bone regeneration, also referred to as guided tissue regeneration. This procedure is used to stabilize endangered teeth or to prepare the jaw for dental implants. As periodontal disease progresses, pockets of degenerated bone develop around affected teeth.
Throughout a woman’s life, hormonal changes affect tissue throughout the body. Fluctuations in hormonal levels occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause, but even during your menstrual cycle or if you are taking birth control medication. At these times, the chance of periodontal disease may increase, requiring special care of your oral region. During puberty, there is increased production of sex hormones. These higher hormone levels increase gum sensitivity and lead to greater irritation from plaque and food particles. The gums can become swollen, turn red, and feel tender. Similar symptoms occasionally appear several days before menstruation.