Gum disease is an infection of the soft tissue that supports and surrounds the teeth. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease can affect one or several teeth and should be diagnosed by a dentist. If left untreated, the effects of gum disease can be irreversible and may increase the risk of other serious conditions.
Gum Disease Can Be Easily Treated if Addressed Early
Most adults have some form of gum disease, though many are unaware, as the condition is often painless. Gingivitis is a mild form of the disease, resulting in red, swollen gums that may bleed during brushing and flossing. At this stage, more thorough at-home hygiene and intervention by your dentist can reverse the symptoms and existing damage. Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis is left untreated, causing the infection to spread, possibly throughout the body. Persistent bad breath, receding gums, and loose teeth are other common symptoms of severe gum disease.
Advanced Gum Disease Leads to Serious Health Complications
If your dentist determines that you have mild gum disease, appropriate treatment can stop its progression. If treatment is delayed, serious complications can result. Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss and increases risk of abscesses, cardiovascular disease, stroke, pregnancy and birth complications, and diabetes. The toxins and bacteria that occur with periodontal disease can circulate throughout the body, causing problems to other vital systems.
As the disease progresses, your dentist may need to perform scaling, root planing, or more advanced forms of surgery. The longer gum disease is left untreated, the more extensive treatment will be.
If you suspect that you have gum disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. The professionals at Southfield Family Dental Center will provide a thorough exam and determine the best treatment plan for you. Call (248) 327-0313 today to set up a consultation with cosmetic and general dentists Dr. Levi and Dr. Krivichkin.