Hidden Consequences of Gum Disease

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Gum disease can cause a wide range of damage to your teeth and gums, but the damage is not limited to your teeth and gum tissue. Recent studies have revealed that gum disease is connected to other health problems throughout the body.

Inflamed gums, gum pockets, gum recession, bad breath, bone loss are only part of the story when it comes to the health issues that gum disease has been linked to. This is a disease that you need to take seriously.

mouth with dental examination tool

Signs of Gum Disease

In the early stages of gum disease, you may notice these symptoms of gum disease:

  • Brushing and flossing irritate your gums.
  • Painful inflammation of the tissue around your teeth.
  • Bad breath, pus, gums bleed when you brush or floss

In the later stages of gum disease the problems get a lot worse. You may feel like you have loose teeth, the bacterial infection because much more evident, and all oral care becomes painful. The best approach to disease treatment for any periodontal disease is early intervention.

The Hidden Health Risks

There are very serious consequences to periodontitis. Recent numerous studies point to a connection between gum disease and heart disease. A patient with periodontal disease is 2.7 times more likely to have a heart attack.

It is believed that the inflammation that is involved with gum disease influences whether you will have a heart attack or not. Other diseases that have been linked to gum health include:

  • Stroke Patients with gum disease are three times more likely to suffer a stroke. In an article from the American Heart Association, it was found that subjects that had severe periodontitis had a 4.3 times higher risk of cerebral ischemia (the loss of blood to the brain that can result in a stroke).
  • Diabetics are at a much greater risk when they have gum disease. Inflammation, and the bacterial infection can cause the sugar to rise and make it very difficult to get under control. Diabetics are at an increased risk of gum disease.
  • Premature Childbirth. Scientists believe that women who develop gum disease because of hormonal changes during pregnancy are at a greater risk of delivering prematurely.

There is a risk of respiratory disease. Breathing through your mouth while your gums are infected can cause the bacteria to travel to your lungs and cause a respiratory infection.

What Causes Gum Disease

There are several causes of gum disease that can transform your healthy gums into not so healthy gums. Gingivitis can start because of a genetic predisposition combined with poor oral hygiene.  Hormonal changes during pregnancy and puberty can trigger periodontal disease. Tooth decay that is not addressed can cause gum disease.

The biggest factor in whether you will develop periodontal problems is whether you are practicing good oral health. Regular checkups at the dentist, regular deep cleaning from your dental hygienist, proper brushing and flossing, and even the right toothbrush technique can help to ward off this disease.

patient with a dentist working

Treating Gum Disease

If you notice that your gums bleed easily, or you are developing periodontal pockets below the gum line, or your gums are receding, get to Friendly Dentistry as soon as possible to get the care that you need. You will work closely with a dental professional that will design a custom treatment plan to deal with your swollen gums and get you back on track with your dental health.

Scaling and root planing, prescription mouthwash, good oral hygiene can all help to heal gum disease. The American Dental Association and Friendly Dentistry recommend you brush at least twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste, floss and make sure you get between the teeth.

Typically the Dental Association recommends dental cleaning every 6 months to remove plaque and tartar at the gum line that brushing just cannot remove, but if you have gum disease part of your periodontology treatment plan may include more frequent cleaning to remove plaque. Tartar and plaque must be kept in check while you are going through treatments.

In severe cases the treatment will be more aggressive. Get the care that you deserve to avoid all the potential dangers of gum disease. Make your appointment today with Friendly Dentistry in Greensboro NC.

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