The gums support and hold your teeth snugly in place so you can eat, speak, and do your everyday activities without discomfort. According to recent data from the Mayo Clinic, gum disease is so common that nearly 80-percent of all adults in the United States suffer from this condition in one way or another.
Gum disease is an infection of the soft tissue in your mouth caused by bacteria. The gums will try to protect themselves and pull away from the infection, which can cause receding gums and eventually tooth loss. This disease is a severe condition, and when left untreated, it can lead to other, more serious health conditions, even heart disease or diabetes.
Here at Our Dentist, we can treat and sometimes reverse the damaging effect of gum disease.
Gingivitis is the Early Form of Gum Disease
Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease and gingivitis is when this condition is in its infancy. One of the most significant dangers of gingivitis is that, at the onset, it can have no symptoms so that you may be unaware of the damage it's causing.
One of the most common reasons for gingivitis is poor oral hygiene and lack of professional care. However, there are other reasons why you may suffer from gingivitis including genetics, diabetes, age, smoking, other diseases such as cancer, hormonal changes like those that occur in pregnancy, substance abuse, and the use of some medications.
Periodontitis Comes When Gum Disease Progresses
When gingivitis is in its advanced stages, it's called periodontitis. In the initial stages, plaque starts building up on your teeth and then closer to the gum tissue. As time goes on, the sticky buildup can move under the gumline where the toxins from the bacterial infection inflame the gums.
These toxins produce a persistent inflammation in which destroys the tissue and bone and the teeth separate from the gums, creating pockets where the infection continues to grow. This results in loose teeth and eventually tooth loss.
One of the most common manifestations of periodontitis is chronic periodontitis, which presents itself as inflammation of the supporting tissue, continuous attachment, and bone loss. Chronic periodontitis is more prevalent in adults, but it can affect people of any age.
Systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease can also cause periodontitis. This is the reason why we need to know if there are any changes in your health history or if you are pregnant. Conditions like HIV and malnutrition can cause necrotizing periodontitis as well. Moreover, habits such as smoking or chewing tobacco could put you at a higher risk for the dangerous gum disease.
When caught in its early stages, gum disease can be treated successfully, and with good oral hygiene, it could be reversed, but this will depend on each patient and their genetic makeup, plus other systemic conditions. According to scientific researchers, one of the most dangerous side effects of periodontal disease is that it can affect other areas of your body, such as the heart and could lead to heart attack or stroke.
For more information about gum disease, please call Our Dentist at (413) 217-4455 today.