About 85 percent of adults in the U.S. have some sort of gum disease. This is a troubling statistic. Although so many people are dealing with it, you rarely hear much about the condition. Gum disease has many stages, and it is reversible at its earliest stage. This disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment as early as possible.
It is a gum infection caused by poor oral hygiene. When you let plaque form and harden on your teeth, periodontal disease may develop. You may not experience symptoms, and the disease can go unnoticed for a long time, or until you go for an oral exam. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and damage to the jaw. Some of the symptoms of gum disease include:
Persistent bad breath
Swollen, tender, and red gums
A change in bite
Puss between teeth and gums
Bleeding while flossing and brushing
Separating or loose teeth
The progression of this disease starts with tartar and plaque buildup, which releases toxins that infect the bone structure and gums. This results in chronic inflammation and tooth loss. The beginning of infection is usually painless, which is why younger patients rarely show signs of gum disease. Symptoms tend to become more prevalent when people are in their 30s to 40s.
Periodontal disease or gum disease starts as an inflammation of gums or gingivitis. Sadly, gum disease requires lifelong care, and it can even trigger other life-threatening conditions if left untreated. These include:
One of your body’s worst enemies is chronic inflammation. When your body starts to attack both healthy and unhealthy cells, it becomes a big problem. This is why doctors link gum disease to heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, you are three times more likely to develop heart disease if you have poor dental hygiene.
Gum disease can have a negative effect on your blood pressure, especially if you are hypertensive. It can also disrupt the effects of various hypertension medications. Researchers discovered that this disease can increase a person’s risk for heart attack by 49 percent. Fortunately, treatment of gum disease can decrease your blood pressure.
In the presence of sugar, bacteria will thrive. If you have high glucose levels in your body, it will help bacteria to spread. These germs can attack your gums and teeth, leading to gingivitis. Gum disease, on the other hand, increases the levels of blood sugar in your body, which can increase your likelihood of developing Type-2 diabetes.
Certain bacteria are common in both rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease patients. The periodontal disease triggers the inflammatory autoimmune response, which is your body’s defense system. It causes the immune system proteins to become more active, which can lead to joint inflammation. Other conditions that can result from untreated gum disease include Alzheimer’s disease and pneumonia.
To learn more about gum disease, contact Levenson Smile in Worcester, Massachusetts at (508) 731-3940 to schedule an appointment today.