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What Happens If Gum Disease Is Left Untreated?
Healthy teeth are desirable, but gum disease prevents many people from having them. Gum disease affects millions of people in the United States and can affect the stability and strength of the teeth. Without treatment, gum disease can also cause oral health issues and make the person vulnerable to other health risks that have been linked to the condition. Continue reading to find out what could happen if gum disease is not treated.
Overview of gum disease
Regardless of a person’s age, gum disease can develop and cause significant problems that can affect one’s oral health over the years. Although the condition is common, many people do not know they have it because they are not aware of the symptoms. Therefore, the condition can go on for a while and cause issues.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. The condition may start as red or swollen gums, and those who are affected may notice their gums bleeding when brush or flossing. Fortunately, gingivitis does not cause significant pain and can be reversed through the dentist’s assistance. It is possible to tackle the issue before it worsens into a serious condition like periodontitis.
Gum disease, if left untreated, worsens gradually and can have severe consequences on the gums. The gums may start to recede gradually. Plaque causes gum irritation, and the toxins present in this sticky residue can produce a chronic inflammatory reaction, which may cause deterioration of the bones and tissues supporting the teeth and eventual tooth loss. Progressing gum disease can cause the gums to detach from the teeth, creating periodontal pockets and becoming a breeding area for bacteria.
Gum disease and general health
Although gum disease is harmful to long-term oral wellbeing, many people may not be aware of the condition until it gets to the advanced stage. Patients may notice loose teeth or oddly red gum tissues. However, these are often the only physical signs present. As well, gum disease can trigger other severe health conditions.
Due to the impact of periodontal health on general wellbeing, people with diabetes and other chronic conditions are more vulnerable to the condition. Chronic inflammation of the gums and the presence of bacteria can cause systemic inflammation. Untreated gum disease can also increase the risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, pregnancy complications, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Gum disease treatment
If a patient has noticed signs of gum disease or gotten a diagnosis, they need to speak to a dentist for various treatment options. This is crucial because a person’s oral health can affect other areas of their life. Treating gum disease in a timely manner can help to minimize the risk of undergoing extensive treatment procedures or replacing lost teeth.
The first line of treatment for gum disease is scaling and root planing, which is a form of dental cleaning that removes plaque buildup around the gums and tooth roots. Once the infection is removed, the gums will begin to heal.
It is important to stay proactive about caring for the teeth and gums. If you suspect a case of gum disease, do not delay getting treatment. Visit the dentist immediately to discuss your options.
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