Signs of Gum Disease (Part 2)
Gum disease is a common dental problem that many experience, but often ignore. Reports have shown that nearly half of all adults have experienced some form of gum disease, and there’s a good chance that you may have it too. The four main signs of early gum disease are redness of the gums (gum inflammation), puffiness of the gums, bleeding from the gums and bad breath.
Visit our last blog post to read more on the warning signs of the early stages of gum disease.
What happens if you ignore the Signs of Gum Disease?
Plaque and tartar (calculus) are bad bacteria that accumulate along the gum line. When not properly removed, plaque and tartar cause gum disease. A lack of good oral hygiene causes the bacteria to continue to accumulate around your teeth and gums and do more damage to your oral health. If you ignore the early signs of the disease, it can potentially spread from your gums to the bone that lies underneath the gums – and destroy the bone. That’s right, the bone of your jaws.
Often you won’t see this because the bacteria accumulates in pockets below the gum. Within these deep periodontal pockets, the bacteria lie safely and slowly destroys the bone causing bone loss.
Bone once gone, cannot be replaced – not without complex surgery. When bone is lost you may notice that the teeth will look longer. The gums will lift away from the teeth forming receding gums and deeper pockets that trap even more bacteria. In this stage of gum disease, treatment is much more complex involving many stages of deep cleaning and perhaps even surgery.
Advanced Gum Disease (Periodontitis)
In more advanced stages, the teeth can become shaky and even drift or move out of position. In the terminal stages, the teeth are so shaky that they may need to be removed.
But that’s not all, remember gum disease is a bacterial infection. And what happens in the mouth does not stay in the mouth.
The bacteria from your diseased gums can enter your bloodstream and cause harm in other parts of your body. More research has shown that there is an association with advanced gum disease and conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
For example, a study published in the British Medical Journal states that those with gum disease had a 25% increased risk of coronary heart disease.
There is growing evidence that a diseased mouth is associated with other conditions like preterm births, arthritis and lung infections. When you think about it, this is not strange or surprising. After all,your body is one integrated whole. Your mouth is not separate from your body.
Everyone should be able to understand and identify the early signs of gum disease. You should visit your dentist, or a dental professional for a thorough cleaning regularly. The recommendation is twice a year to remove plaque and calculus.
Learn the correct ways of keeping your mouth healthy, and practice them daily at home.
This is the way to prevent periodontitis or gum disease.