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Dangers of Untreated Gum Disease
Posted on 1/11/2021 by Aron Geelan, DMD
Gum disease is almost often a result of poor oral hygiene, and sadly, a substantial amount of Americans are affected with gum disease at least once in their lives. However, in some cases, gum disease can also be a symptom of other conditions, and untreated gum disease can also lead to other more prominent health problems.
Gum disease or periodontitis is gum inflammation due to bacterial infection in the gums because of plaque and tartar build-up. Over time, it can lead to gum recession, tooth loss, and bone damage as well. Because gum disease starts as gingivitis, which is painless, with mild to almost no symptoms, it can go unnoticed unless you visit a dentist for a regular check-up.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should visit your dentist immediately as it may be a sign of gingivitis, which indicates the onset of periodontitis.
Red-tinged and inflamed gums
Bleeding gums, especially after brushing your teeth
Pain when chewing
Gum Diseases Link to Other Diseases
Gum Disease is not always a sign of poor oral health. It can also be a symptom of other life-threatening conditions such as oral cancer or chronic inflammation. In fact, if left untreated, gum disease can cause other problems as well, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Chronic inflammation in the body results in the body's immune system attacking the body's healthy cells, which can potentially lead to heart diseases. According to research by the American Heart Association, those with gum disease are thrice more likely to get heart disease than others. In fact, inflammation in the gums can also trigger the immune system's overprotective instincts, leading to joint inflammation.
Bacteria in the gum can also seep into the bloodstream if left untreated for long. Once in the bloodstream, it triggers the body's immune system, resulting in an increase in blood sugar levels and leaving the patient at heightened risk of Type II diabetes.
Ensure you follow a proper oral healthcare regime and visit the dentist at least twice a year for a professional dental cleaning to prevent gum disease or catch its symptoms early on.
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