Though they don’t receive the recognition they deserve, your gums serve a critical purpose in terms of protecting your teeth and keeping them in place. Therefore, when they become damaged, infected or diseased, it is understandable to expect consequences. Unfortunately, the consequences of poor gum health don’t stay within the mouth. Diseased gums can threaten the heath of your entire body!
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a common oral health condition that can strike at any age. Gum disease begins when excess plaque (made up of bacteria, mucous and food particles) are left along the teeth and gum line. Eventually, this plaque buildup causes irritation in the gums, also known as gingivitis. If not treated, gingivitis can progress to a more advanced form of gum disease in which the gums become infected and pull away from the tooth roots. At its most advanced stage, gum disease can cause bone loss and tooth loss.
The Link Between Gum Health and Systemic Health
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “research has shown that periodontal disease is associated with several other diseases. For a long time, it was thought that bacteria was the factor that linked periodontal disease to other disease in the body; however, more recent research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.”
The diseases and health conditions associated with gum disease are nothing to take lightly. The following health problems have been linked to untreated periodontal disease on some level:
- Heart Disease
- Premature Birth/Low-Birth Weight
As you can see, tooth loss is just one of the many serious consequences that can occur when gum disease gets ignored. To ensure you catch gum disease at its earliest, most treatable stage, see your dentist at the first signs of periodontal swelling, bleeding and redness. At Marietta Dental Professionals, we offer multiple therapies for gum disease, including deep cleanings to reverse most mild to moderate cases. Call today to schedule your gum disease therapy in Marietta!