It may start as inflamed gums or a little “pink in the sink,” but gum disease can have a significant impact on your overall health.
Fairport, Pittsford, and Rochester, NY
In its more severe stages, gum disease allows oral bacteria to enter your bloodstream and even increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Studies done by the American Academy of Periodontology show that people with gum disease are nearly two times as likely to develop heart disease, compared to those with a healthy mouth.
How gum disease affects your health
Gum disease can also lead to other significant health problems, including the following:
- Receding gums
- Loss of teeth or jawbone
- Mouth pain
- Premature aging
- Premature births or low birth weight in babies
The stages of gum disease
Gum disease gets its start from bacteria. If these bacteria are left in the mouth, they combine with the acids they secrete to form plaque, a sticky film that builds up on your teeth. Over time, plaque hardens and turns into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental cleaning.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which happens when the gums become infected, causing inflammation and bleeding. If your gums are red, puffy or bleeding, then these are all significant warning signs of gingivitis. The good news is that gingivitis is reversible and easily treatable with consistent dental cleanings (twice a year), and routine oral care at home.
The second stage of gum disease is periodontitis. This occurs when the inflammation that causes gingivitis worsens, and forms pockets in the gums. The periodontal pockets collect bacteria under the gum line, which cannot be cleaned by standard at-home brushing or flossing. Only a dental professional can clean these pockets with an in-office dental cleaning. If gum disease is not treated when it reaches the periodontitis stage, the pockets may grow deeper as the bacteria inside them continue to multiply. Ignoring the issue can lead to tooth loss.
Treatment is vital
Gum disease is serious but, if it is detected and treated early, damage can be stopped in its tracks. Even if permanent damage occurs, then proper treatment can prevent any additional harm to your mouth and overall health.
At Pittsford Smiles Dental, we are highly qualified in treating gum disease. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease or are experiencing its symptoms, call our Pittsford, NY office today at (585) 248-2575 for a consultation.
Pittsford Smiles Dental serves patients in Fairport, Pittsford, and Rochester, NY.