Why It’s Important to Treat Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to pain, tooth loss and other health complications. Here’s why it’s so important to treat gum disease promptly and properly.

Inflammation and Destruction of Tissues

The early stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which causes red, swollen gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing. At this stage, the disease is reversible with proper treatment. However, if gingivitis goes untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. This causes inflammation and infection that damages the ligaments and bone that support the teeth. As the tissues are destroyed, the gums detach from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected. If too much bone tissue is lost, the teeth may eventually loosen and have to be removed.

Tooth Loss

The destruction of bone and other supporting tissues is the primary reason teeth become loose and fall out in those with periodontitis. While genetics predispose some people to more severe gum disease, poor oral hygiene habits often contribute to the problem. The bacteria in plaque deposit minerals into the teeth, forming tartar that brushing doesn’t remove. Only a professional dental cleaning can remove tartar below the gum line that causes continued infection and tissue loss.

Bad Breath

Gum disease also causes persistent bad breath, or halitosis. When bacteria build up on the teeth, gums and tongue, they putrefy and release gases that cause unpleasant odours. No amount of breath freshener can eliminate this bad breath caused by gum infections. Treating the diseased gum tissue is the only way to properly cure bad breath.

Other Health Complications

Research shows that untreated gum disease has been linked to health issues including heart disease, diabetes complications, pneumonia, and premature birth in pregnant women. Bacteria from gum infections can enter the bloodstream, potentially causing inflammation and blood vessel damage throughout the body. Treating gum disease may help reduce complications from other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Catch It Early

The key to treating gum disease is catching it early and taking steps to stop its progression. If you notice swollen, tender gums that bleed despite brushing gently, see your dentist Corbridge right away for an exam. Don’t ignore these classic symptoms of gingivitis. Your dentist can assess if professional cleaning and improved oral care can treat the inflammation, or if you need medications or surgery for more advanced gum disease. When treated in the early stages, gum disease can be reversed.

Stop the Infection’s Spread

In advanced cases, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics or antimicrobial rinses to kill the infection causing progressive tissue damage. Thorough plaque and tartar removal above and below the gum line are also essential to stop the continued spread of the bacterial infection. For moderate to severe cases, periodontal surgery may be needed to remove damaged tissues or large pockets of infection, and graft tissues to save loose teeth. These treatments stop periodontitis from destroying even more of the tissues keeping the teeth intact.

Keep your gums healthy by seeing your dentist at the first sign of problems for the best chance of reversing gum inflammation before it can destroy the tissues around your teeth.

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Ichiho Fujiwara Written by: