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A large percentage of adults have some form of gum disease and many of those who have it, don’t even know. There are two types of gum disease, gingivitis, and periodontitis. The most commonly thought of form of gum disease is periodontitis because it can cause severe tooth decay and the loss of teeth. When gum disease is in the early stages, it is known as gingivitis, which makes your gums look inflamed and lighter pink than usual. At this juncture, it is very treatable, but when gum disease progresses, it turns into periodontal disease, which can cause severe tooth decay and possible loss of teeth. When it advances to this stage, bad things can happen to a person’s teeth and their health. Read the information below to learn about the adverse effects of gum disease and why it’s a severe health concern.
Gum Disease Can Cause You To Have Bad Breath
Gum disease occurs when bacteria causes inflammation in the gums around the teeth. Plague build up attracts bacteria, which feeds off of the plague. As the disease progresses, swollen gums will turn red. Upon brushing, flossing, or even eating food that rubs against your gums, they will often bleed. The bleeding will be at its worse when brushing and flossing. However, if you have gum disease, this bleeding is a good thing. It means that you are breaking apart the hard, cement-like plaque that is built up at the base of the teeth, around the gums. If you reach the point where your gums are bleeding, it is more important than ever for you to continue brushing regularly and use an antiseptic mouthwash. When you being breaking down this hard plague, it will leave small, possibly microscopic cuts on your gums. If you do not keep your mouth clean at this point, your gums will then become infected, and this causes a bad taste in your mouth and foul smelling breath. Bad breath will continue until the infection in the gums clears up, which usually requires antibiotics.
Gum Disease Can Cause Your Teeth To Become Loose
As this condition worsens and turns into periodontal disease, the plaque spreads underneath the gumline. Your gums will become inflamed, followed by the swelling going down through the use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. Over time, the process of becoming inflamed, relieving the swelling, and them becoming inflamed again, your infected gums will start to pull away from your teeth and openings, or pockets will appear between your teeth and gums. Even if you do not put your gums through the inflammation yo-yo process, your gums can still pull away from your teeth.
These pockets will continue to increase in size and eventually the infection will cause deterioration in the gums, teeth, and jawbone. When this occurs, the jawbone will be unable to anchor the root of the teeth, and they will become loose. This process may happen rapidly, or it could be a slow process. If the process is slow, you may suffer from recurrent infections that require pain medication and antibiotics. Abscesses may form under the teeth and inside the gums. The amount of pain experienced can be excruciating.
Gum Disease Can Compromise Your Overall Health
When gum disease progresses, this condition can cause you to have serious health issues that stem from the inflammation, infection, and bacteria. The bacteria in your mouth can travel through your bloodstream and cause damage to other organs in your body. If the condition is not cared for quickly, serious health problems can develop that require medication to manage. These conditions will persist through your entire life, even after the gum disease has been treated. Your heart may suffer consequences as the bacteria travel to the blood vessels in your heart causing coronary artery disease and possibly a heart attack.
If the bacteria get into your lungs, they can cause you to develop respiratory issues, breathing difficulties and pneumonia.
Experiencing memory loss and possibly dementia is also a concern with advanced gum disease, as proven in recent studies. This risk occurs when the bacteria from your mouth gains access into the cranial nerves or enters through the bloodstream and affects the part of your brain that controls memory function. While you may be wondering how this happens, consider the proximity of your mouth to the location of your brain. The bacteria does not have far to travel to affect the brain. The bacteria is why oral abscesses are such a concern to medical professionals. Even though there is a blood-brain barrier, there is no way to stop an infection from traveling along the myelin sheath of nerves, and into the cranial cavity.
No All Gum Disease can be Prevented but it can be Treated
The truth is, gum disease is not entirely preventable. However, through routine dental exams, it can be effectively treated to prevent complications. The problem with completely preventing gum disease is that there is a genetic factor involved. Studies have repeatedly revealed that direct decedents (such as mother and daughter) of someone with the periodontal disease, are more likely to develop the disorder because of genetics.
To prevent the onset of gum disease, brushing and flossing every day is essential. It is also important to use an antiseptic mouthwash to disinfect any cuts in your gums caused by the brushing and flossing process. It also helps to flush away any loose food particles that are left behind.
Regular exams by your dentist are also important for an early diagnosis of gum disease. Make sure to inform your dentist if there is a family history of gum disease. If early symptoms of red, swollen or bleeding gums are present, make a dental appointment immediately. Fast action on your part can keep gum disease away and prevent the negative health effects that can occur due to this condition. If you do develop symptoms of gum disease, your doctor may recommend a deep cleaning in the office, and recommend that you brush your teeth three times a day instead of two.