Gum disease is one of the most common chronic dental health issues in the United States (second only to tooth decay/cavities). Yet, many people fail to recognize the relatively minor symptoms that accompany gum disease’s development. Because of the extensive inflammation and tissue damage that it can cause, it’s important to know the facts about gum disease, including what it looks like and how to treat it effectively. It’s also important to know the continuing consequences of unchecked gum disease and how it can affect your overall health.
It can slip past you unnoticed.
Gum disease begins as gingivitis—an infection in your gums caused by excessive buildups of oral bacteria. The most common signs of gingivitis are swollen, red, and sometimes bleeding gums. However, it doesn’t usually cause your gums to hurt at first, so the symptoms can seem minor, and many patients ignore them as inconsequential.
It’s often irreversible.
Gingivitis can often be reversed with a deep cleaning (or scaling and root planing) appointment. During your visit, your dentist can remove harmful oral bacteria from underneath your gums, allowing the soft tissues to heal. Left untreated, gingivitis will quickly progress into gum disease, which cannot be reversed and requires more involved periodontal treatment and maintenance.
It could lead to tooth loss and more.
More severe forms of gum disease can reach and erode your jawbone underneath your gums, leading to single or multiple tooth loss. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss today. Because of the rampant inflammation caused by gum disease, its prolonged presence can also raise your risks of serious systemic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which also involve chronic inflammation.
Get the Facts About Gum Disease Treatment
The best way to protect your oral and overall health from gum disease is the get the facts directly from your dentist. To learn more, schedule a visit by calling our dental office in Sunnyvale, CA at (408) 720-0900, or toll free at (877) 9-DENTAL.