Let's Discuss Complications of Untreated Gum Disease

Let's Discuss Complications of Untreated Gum Disease

Jun 01, 2022

Despite the widespread education about preventive dentistry, about 50% of Americans over 30 years have gum disease. If you don’t care for your mouth by cleaning and eating healthier, you risk getting gum disease and permanent teeth damage.

Mainly, gum disease occurs when bacteria and food debris accumulate on the surface of the teeth and along the gum line to cause plaque. Fortunately, you can remove plaque by thorough brushing and flossing. However, when you don’t remove plaque, it hardens to become tartar.

Over time, tartar and plaque irritate and inflame your gums. In its initial stages, gum disease is usually painless with few symptoms. Unfortunately, most adults don’t realize they have the condition until too late. Regular dental assessments and cleanings can help identify early signs of the disease and prevent permanent damage.

Early symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Puffy or swollen gums
  • Red or purplish gums
  • Tender and sore gums
  • Bleeding when eating or brushing
  • Unexplained bad breath
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth or tooth loss
  • Pus teeth and gums
  • Receding gums
  • New spaces between teeth

Complications of Gum Disease

If you have gum disease, our Edison dentist will treat the condition and help restore the health of your gums. If you don’t treat gum disease on time and correctly, it can worsen. This leads to severe and life-threatening complications such as:

  • Loose teeth and tooth loss

Untreated gum disease spreads further underneath the gums and attacks the jawbone and other supporting structures of the teeth. It often leads to bone deterioration, deep gum pockets, and receding gums. Over time, the gums and jawbone cannot hold the teeth securely, eventually leading to loose teeth and tooth loss.

Loose and lost teeth often hurt your oral health and function, like chewing, brushing, and speaking. Additionally, they can lead to jawbone deterioration, teeth crookedness, and facial sagging. You might have to invest in dental implants, bridges, or dentures to replace the lost teeth.

  • Swollen, bleeding, or red gums

When your gum tissue continually inflames, you’re likely to experience sore, red, swollen, or bleeding gums. It can happen around one tooth or through the entire mouth.

  • Chronic bad breath

Bad breath is a common side effect of untreated gum disease. The odor often happens when bacteria and plaque under the gum line and between teeth release gases and chemicals. Foods with strong smells like garlic, onions, and spices can worsen the breath.

  • Diabetes

You’re at a higher risk of developing or worsening diabetes if you have gum disease. Bacteria in the infected gums can enter the bloodstream. It activates your body’s defense mechanism, potentially leading to high blood sugars in the blood and putting you at risk of diabetes complications.

  • Cardiovascular diseases

According to research, patients with poor dental hygiene are three times more prone to heart disease and strokes. The bacteria from untreated gum disease can enter your bloodstream and cause a severe condition called atherosclerosis. It makes you more susceptible to blood clots and restricted blood flow, which can cause stroke and heart attack.

  • Receding gums

Gum recession happens when the gums surrounding a tooth wear away or pull back. If you can see your tooth’s roots or notice that your teeth appear longer, you might have receding gums.

  • Respiratory diseases

Untreated gum disease can worsen or increase your risk of respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or asthma. It is because gum infection increases inflammation of the lungs and airways.

  • Cancer

You’re at a high risk of developing oral and lung cancer if you have gum disease. According to a recent health study, patients with advanced gum disease had a 24% higher cancer risk than those with healthier gums.

How to Prevent Gum disease

Typically, gum disease is avoidable. Use these tips to maintain healthy gums and overall wellness:

  • Brush at least twice daily. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently. Abrasive brushing can cause gum disease.
  • Floss daily
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings
  • Eat gut-friendly foods
  • Eat healthier and hydrate well
  • Wear a nightguard for bruxism
  • Avoid or limit tobacco products

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you looking for gum disease treatment, or do you need dental care in Edison? Contact KK Dental Edison to book your appointment today.

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