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Dental Bridges to Reduce the Risk Factors of Gum Disease

Missing teeth can lead to multiple dental issues, with gum disease, also called periodontitis, being a common concern. When teeth are lost, the gum tissue around the gap is open to infection and inflammation, increasing the risk of developing gum disease.  In the United States, approximately 47% of adults aged over 30 and 70% of adults over 65 are affected by this issue. Luckily, dental bridges offer a solution by filling in the gaps left by missing teeth. These bridges restore the appearance of your smile and help maintain the health of your gums by providing support and stability. This article will explore how dental bridges can effectively reduce the risk factors of gum disease

What are Dental Bridges? 

Dental bridges are prosthetic structures used to replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of artificial teeth, called pontics, that are anchored either to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants for support. Dental bridges are designed to restore the look and function of your smile by filling in the gaps left by missing teeth. They are typically made from various materials, like porcelain, metal alloys, ceramic, or a mix of these materials, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences. 

Design of a Pontic 

3 teeth


The design of a pontic plays a crucial role in the prevention of gum diseases. There are various designs of pontics like:

  • Sanitary pontic
  • Ridge lap pontic
  • Conical pontic
  • Modified ridge lap pontic
  • Ovate pontic.

Different types of pontics have their own advantages and drawbacks. Your dentist will select the right one based on the condition of your gum ridge where the missing tooth is. Factors like shape, contour, and material are important for a good pontic design. Smooth surfaces and the right shape make it easier to clean the pontic and prevent food from getting stuck, which reduces the risk of gum disease. Also, the material used in the bridge affects how well your gums stay healthy. Materials like cobalt chromium, nickel, gold, porcelain, and zirconia are often used because they don’t irritate the gums and help them stay healthy.

How Dental Bridges Keep Gum Disease at Bay

Dental bridges may not be the sole option for the treatment of gum disease, but they can play a huge role in preventing its progression. Here’s how:

Restoration of Dental Alignment

dental bridge


When you lose a tooth and don’t replace it promptly, it can lead to various problems. The nearby teeth might move into the empty space, and the teeth above or below might grow too far down or up because they don’t have anything to stop them. This affects the parts that support your teeth, like the cementum, periodontal ligament, and bone, which can lead to crooked teeth and make it harder to chew, which are the main gum disease symptoms. But with dental bridges, your nearby teeth won’t move or become crooked. So your teeth will stay in the right place. Bridges don’t just fill in the gap; they also support your other teeth and keep them from getting worse.

Preservation of Bone and Gums

Gum disease starts to occur when the bone and other supporting structures surrounding the missing tooth start degenerating due to lack of stimulation. When dental bridges are in action, they not only keep your surrounding teeth stable but also enhance the stimulation of the supporting structures. In other words, dental bridges act as shields, protecting the foundation on which your smile is built.

Improvement of oral hygiene

The drifting of adjacent healthy teeth creates minor spaces between teeth and gums. This induces the deposition of food particles, making these areas inaccessible to brushes and making it challenging to clean the teeth effectively. This results in poor oral hygiene and infected gums. The accumulation of food deposits further lodges bacteria and progresses gum disease. The seamless surface provided by dental bridges makes it easier to clean the gaps and facilitates brushing and flossing, thereby reducing the risk factors of gum disease.

Distribution of Masticatory force

The absence of teeth disrupts the normal distribution of forces in the mouth, leading to increased pressure on certain adjacent teeth and gum tissue. This imbalance accelerates the aging process of these structures and contributes to gum recession. Dental bridges address this issue by effectively balancing and reducing the force exerted on the upper and lower arches, ensuring an even distribution of pressure during chewing and biting. This restores equilibrium in the mouth, reducing the risk of wear and tear on teeth and minimizing the likelihood of gum recession. Additionally, by stabilizing the bite, dental bridges promote a healthier oral environment, less susceptible to gum disease development.

Restoration of Facial appearance

Tooth loss changes the internal oral environment and affects the external facial appearance. This is due to the loss of support for the lips, cheeks, and surrounding tissues. Dental bridges boost the natural contours of the face. Hence, they restore facial symmetry and harmony, thereby contributing to overall well-being and indirectly preventing the progression of gum disease by preserving oral and facial integrity.

Chewing efficiency

Missing teeth impact the ability to chew food properly, leading to digestive issues and malnutrition. Restoration of missing teeth by dental bridges enhances chewing efficiency and aids in proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Properly chewed food minimizes the accumulation of plaque and the likelihood of bacterial growth, thereby preventing gum disease. 

Discover Customized Treatment Options 

If you’re missing a tooth, don’t wait for gum disease signs to show up. Various types and materials of dental bridges are available to suit individual needs and preferences. Your dentist can customize the treatment plan according to your choice of traditional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges, or resin-bonded bridges to address specific concerns and optimize oral health outcomes. 

If you have any queries about your dental health or are looking for options of gum disease treatment, visit us at Periodontal specialists, 1605 Heritage Dr, Northfield, MN 55057 or call 507-663-1815 to book your appointment.