Most of us are aware of something going on in our mouths. When it comes to periodontal disease, we too often attribute those bleeding gums to a temporary condition that will magically go away. We try home remedies: rinse with peroxide or saltwater, paint our gums with turmeric gel and try other homeopathic suggestions. In the time spent procrastinating about seeing the dentist, your condition is probably getting worse. The prospect of the disease developing into a real health issue is no longer remote.
Although gum disease starts slowly, it can quickly turn into a serious problem if left untreated. In the beginning stages of gum disease or gingivitis, plaque is hardening and turning into tartar. Once tartar has built up on your teeth, professional attention is required to remove it. During this phase of gum disease, patients will experience gums that bleed when they brush and floss. Other early signs of gum disease include bright red, inflamed, or swollen gums. While there are no irreversible, long-term effects at this point, it is essential to seek help immediately. Gum disease can quickly turn from mild to severe as tartar, full of dangerous bacteria and deposits, starts to spread down below the gum line.
Once untreated gingivitis gets past first-stage gum disease, it is now in the dangerous realm of periodontitis.
- Tarter deposits advance: gums pull away from the teeth.
- Periodontal pockets form and act as receptacles for bacteria and infection inaccessible to brushing and flossing.
- As your body fights infection, antibodies attack healthy cells.
- Gums and the underlying bone begin to deteriorate.
- Gums recede, healthy bone is damaged, and eventual tooth loss occurs.
It’s Not Only Your Teeth
Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. A smile full of missing teeth makes eating and speaking hard; your self-esteem takes a hit. But that isn’t its worst effect. There is a correlation between gum disease and overall physical health. Although the connections are still vague, periodontitis has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and premature birth. What affects one part of your body has a profound effect on the whole.
Word of Advice
Oral health can affect many aspects of your life, from eating, smiling, and laughing to self-confidence and self-image. When people think about maintaining their oral health, they often pay more attention to their teeth than their gums. This may be why over half of Americans have some form of gum disease. Unfortunately, gum disease is a problem that leads to severe consequences if left untreated.
Don’t let gum disease ruin your health. Periodontal disease and infection are serious concerns. If you live in the Paoli, PA area, call now for a consultation with one of our experts at (610) 550-3333. Think Oral Implants and Periodontics, 250 W. Lancaster Ave., Suite 215, Paoli, PA 19301.