The Dangers of Untreated Gum Disease

Gum disease usually starts out with minor issues like bleeding gums while brushing. However, with time you’ll start to notice your gums getting redder and redder. This phase is called gingivitis. Fortunately, gingivitis is treatable and can be reversed by enhancing your oral hygiene routine. However, if your gum disease doesn’t get attention and worsens, it can leave you with more serious side effects. Our oral health is part of a bigger system. Any problem associated with it can affect the entire body! This blog will go over the dangers of untreated gum disease and why it is important that you not let it develop further.

The Dangers of Untreated Gum Disease

How Does Gum Disease Develop?

The buildup of plaque and tartar is what starts the progression of gum disease. The bacteria on these release toxins that infect the gum tissues and bone structure, ultimately resulting in tooth loss and chronic inflammation. According to the CDC 2012 study, almost 50% of Americans above 30 years of age are affected by gum disease. There are times where the symptoms can go unnoticed until the patient visits the dentist for an oral exam. However, obvious signs that you have gum disease include:

  • Red/inflamed gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • Bad breath
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic gum inflammation that requires lifelong care. Unfortunately, it can only be managed but never reversed. What’s more alarming is that it can trigger other life-threatening conditions such as:

Gum Disease Can Contribute to Heart Disease

One of the scariest dangers of gum disease is that it can lead to heart disease. Chronic inflammation is our body’s enemy. It causes the body to attack healthy cells. This can lead to serious heart problems. According to the American Heart Association, patients with poor dental hygiene are 3xs more prone to heart disease. Gum disease affects hypertensive patient’s blood pressure, causing a disruption in the effects of hypertension medications. The chances of getting a heart attack rise to 49% for those with gum disease! Carmichael Dentistry encourages patients to visit the dentist frequently to monitor gum disease cases and ensure that everything is being done to reverse the symptoms in its early stages.

Gum Disease Can Contribute to Diabetes

Did you know that bacteria thrive in the presence of sugar? High glucose levels in people’s bodies can help propagate bacteria which enables them to attack teeth and gums, ultimately causing gingivitis. On the other hand, gum disease increases the sugar levels in your blood, putting you at risk for Type 2 diabetes. The bacteria that infect gums will leak into one’s bloodstream and cause a stir on one’s immune system. As a defense mechanism, your body will trigger a rise in blood sugar to fight off the bacteria. Since periodontal disease is associated with chronic inflammation, the blood sugar level can be hard to control with diabetic patients. Similarly, diabetes can also make it difficult for the body to fight off infections like gum disease.

Woman with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Gum Disease Can Contribute to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Bacteria called Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans are found in both periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis patients. This bacteria triggers the overreaction of our inflammatory autoimmune response that makes the immune system proteins. This will eventually cause the joints to get inflamed, thus causing the arthritis. It is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects more than just the joints. In many cases, it also damages a variety of body systems, including your:

  • Lungs
  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Heart
  • Blood vessels

With gum disease being a contributor to this condition, you’ll be saving yourself from lots of pain if you simply maintain a healthy oral routine and stay on the line with your dental check-ups.

How Carmichael Dentistry Can Help Treat Gum Disease

Gaining knowledge and becoming aware of your gum disease is good, but making an appointment with your dentist is even better! Carmichael Dentistry provides dental exams and treatments for periodontal disease. If you believe you have gum disease, we encourage you to see us as soon as possible! We hope this blog helped you see the dangers of untreated gum disease and how maintaining your oral health can prevent you from having serious health conditions down the road. To prevent or treat gum disease, give Carmichael Dentistry a call at (858) 484-2560 or click here to schedule an appointment.