How Serious is Gum Disease?

Some people are more genetically prone to gum disease than others. Periodontal or gum disease is a progressive condition which usually begins with a bacterial infection causing the body to destroy both gum and bone tissue in an inflammatory response. If left untreated, erosion of the bone results in a less stable base for the teeth, leading to loose teeth or complete tooth loss.

About Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease and causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage and is reversible with professional treatment and good oral care.

Factors that may contribute to gingivitis include stress, smoking, inadequate nutrition, diabetes, HIV, aging, substance abuse, pregnancy or hormonal fluctuations, systemic diseases and conditions, genetic predisposition, puberty and the use of certain medications.

Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, and with time, plaque can grow and spread below the gum line. This causes gums to separate from the teeth and form pockets that become infected, and, as the disease develops, those pockets deepen, and even more bone and gum tissue are destroyed. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.

Types of Gum Disease

There are many forms of periodontitis, and you should consult us for periodontal therapy if you feel you are suffering from any of the following:

  • Systemic Diseases – Systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes are associated with a specific form of gum disease.
  • Aggressive Periodontitis – Includes rapid attachment loss and bone destruction.
  • Chronic Periodontitis – Results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth and includes progressive bone loss.
  • Necrotizing Periodontal Disease – An infection characterized by necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone.

Through recent research studies, periodontitis and gum disease have been linked to respiratory illness.  Research has concluded that periodontal disease can worsen conditions such as COPD and may play a role in the contraction of emphysema, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

There is also evidence that indicates dental disorders such as gum disease are linked to do with heart disease as well. To maintain good overall health, the best insurance you have is to keep good oral health habits.

Contact a Dentist in Brentwood

You should contact us if you notice any of these symptoms of gum disease:

  1. Red, swollen gums
  2. Loose teeth
  3. Pain when you bite or chew
  4. Bleeding after brushing/flossing
  5. Receding gums
  6. Pus on or around your gums

Don’t take chances with your oral health. The results could cost you a lot more than you think.

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