How serious is Gum Disease?
Gum disease called Gingivitis or Periodontitis affects 75-80% of the population and, now more than ever before, an emphasis is being placed on this dangerous disease!
What is Gingivitis?
It is the first stage or the beginning of gum disease where you may experience bleeding gums upon brushing and/or see yellow deposits on your teeth. If left unchecked, this can progress into an advanced form of gum disease.
What is Periodontitis?
When you have gingivitis for a long time and it goes untreated, it advances to periodontitis where there is loss of gum tissue and bone tissue, the foundation tissues of your teeth, and causes the teeth to become loose and eventually fall if not treated.
Both gingivitis and periodontitis are caused by bacteria in our mouth that cling to our teeth by a sticky substance. If this sticky substance is not removed by regular brushing at home and regular dental cleanings, it will eventually cause gum disease.
Why is so much emphasis being placed on gum disease?
Researchers have found that gum disease is linked and related to a host of other life threatening diseases:
1. Pregnancy: Pregnant women with periodontitis have been found to have babies with low birth weight or preterm infants, which increases their risk of mortality.
2. Diabetes: Advanced gum disease can lead to uncontrolled diabetes, despite regularly taking your diabetes medication. It has been well documented that bringing periodontal disease in control in diabetics also helps control their blood sugar levels.
3. Stroke: Periodontal disease has been documented to increase the risk of stroke.
4. Heart: Accumulation of large amounts of pathogenic bacteria in your mouth can cause accumulation of bacteria in the blood vessels close to heart and cause poor cardiovascular health and even heart attacks.
5. Lungs: Inhaling bacteria from the throat and mouth causes accumulation of bacteria in the lungs and leads to pneumonia, which affects your ability to breathe.
Dentists are the first line of contact and defense in diagnosing and treating Gum disease. So it’s time to sit up and seriously listen when your dentist informs you of having gum disease. To learn more about the causes of gum disease, visit our Gum Disease Treatment page.
Stay tuned next week to learn about the different methods for treating gum disease!