Chances are that you’ve already been warned about gum disease. Most of us are taught the importance of regular dental care at an early age. And yet, 50% of adults in America suffer from gingivitis—an early form of gum disease. Improper care routines can lead to painful and serious side effects and even illness.
Learn to Recognize Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the most common and least severe form of gum disease, but it’s the first stage of periodontitis. Gingivitis causes bright red and swollen gums that may bleed when brushing or flossing. Often, people don’t see bleeding gums as a problem and continue to neglect dental health. Gingivitis, although serious, doesn’t always progress to cause tooth loss or other damage.
Periodontitis, on the other hand, is advanced gum disease and is much more severe. At this stage, the gums recede from the teeth and bone. Deep pockets form within the mouth, trapping bacteria and food debris. These pockets become infected in many cases, filling with bacteria and causing the gum and bone to further dissolve. If the jaw structure become too far degraded, reconstructive surgery may be needed.
Periodontitis is a common cause of tooth loss in adults. The infected pockets can cause the teeth to die or rot in most cases, leaving behind odor and pain. Oral operation may be the only option to safely remove the dead tissue.
Avoid Health Risks Caused by Gum Disease
Tooth loss and oral infections are serious problems, but they’re not the only issues that gum disease causes. Studies have linked periodontitis to illnesses and diseases in other areas of the body as well. Improper dental care can lead to:
· Diabetes. Substandard dental health causes inflammation in the mouth that can spread easily. This increased swelling can be associated with diabetes. Periodontitis can not only cause problems, but also exacerbate existing symptoms in someone who is already diabetic.
· Erectile dysfunction. More than half of the men diagnosed with periodontitis also suffered from erectile dysfunction. The exact cause of how gum disease contributes to erectile dysfunction is unknown. However, researchers believe that inflammation and infections are to blame.
· Pneumonia. People with gum disease inhale harmful bacteria each time they take a breath. Over time, this can cause respiratory distress and infections.
Taking care of your gums and teeth helps maintain your entire body. Remember to always brush and floss and make regular appointments for evaluations and care.
If you do suffer from tooth loss because of gum disease, Solace Oral Surgery is here to help. Contact us at 615-320-1392.