Gum disease is amongst the most common issues that dentists work to help their patients with. As preventable as it is, as many as half of all adults over 30 have some form of gum disease. Gum disease is more than just bleeding of the gums, as well. If you’re not taking the appropriate care of your gums, making sure that your brush and floss, you could end up losing your tooth.
However, gum disease can affect you in a variety of ways, some of which might seem surprising to those who think it may only affect their oral health. Here, we’re going to look at some of the complications of untreated gum disease and why it’s so important to work to treat it.
About gum disease
Patients experience gum disease as a result of a build-up of food and bacteria on the surface of the food. This leads to the formation of plaque, sticky gunk that remains on the teeth. If it continues to build up, it can harden and become tartar, which is harder to remove and can then inflame the gums, leading to bleeding and other problems.
Plaque can be removed thanks to brushing twice a day and the routine cleanings your dentist in Guildford offers. However, many people miss when it can progress due to the fact that it’s painless at first. That isn’t always going to be the case, however.
Here are some of the complications of gum disease that isn’t being treated.
Often the earliest symptom, alongside bleeding gums, swollen, tender or red gums can be an indication of gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. This happens because your gums are responding to bacteria via inflammation. As a result, your gums can feel quite tender.
Chronic bad breath
Also called halitosis, this is a common side effect of gum disease even from the early stages. The bacteria that is trapped on and between your teeth releases gases that can come with a foul odour. Similarly, the food debris that becomes plaque tends to smell worse as it lingers.
Gum disease can start to wear away not just your gums, but also your jawbone and the connective tissue the keeps your teeth in place. This leads to receding gums, gum pockets and bone deterioration. As such, you can slowly lose what keeps your teeth in place, eventually turning into tooth loss.
Tooth loss has a major impact on your quality of life. This includes changes to how you eat, how you speak, as well as the health of your jawbone, and the positioning of your other teeth. The damage and loss of jaw bone can even affect your facial structure if left untreated.
Recent science has repeatedly found that if you have gum disease, you’re more likely to have heart disease, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other problems. This may be related to the possibility of bacteria from gum diseases entering into the bloodstream. Plaque can harden up in the arteries, restricting them and leading to blood clots, which can become heart attacks or strokes.
There are links between diabetes and gum disease. If you have one, you are more likely to have the other. What’s more, they can be a dangerous combination because bacteria from your gums can infect the bloodstream. This leads to higher blood sugar levels which can lead to complications of diabetes.