The Not-So-Sweet Reality: How Gum Disease Affects Your Overall Health

December 1, 2022

What Is Gum Disease?

It is an oral infection that affects gum health. Gum disease begins with bacterial growth in your mouth that spreads to the soft tissues. Gum disease occurs in two different stages:

  1. Gingivitis – is the initial stage of the infection. This degree of infection features mild symptoms that can be easy to miss if you are not keen to check.
  2. Periodontitis – is the advanced and severe stage of gum disease. The infection usually spreads to all soft tissues in your mouth, damaging your jawbone and teeth. The symptoms of periodontitis are hard to miss. Without treatment, this stage of gum disease causes many other oral complications, with some that can have permanent implications for your oral health.

What Are the Indicators of Gum Disease?

Keeping tabs on your gum health is crucial to ensure you do not harbor an infection for too long. Usually, you will start noticing mild symptoms of gum disease if you are keen. However, it may take a while to recognize the infection, usually when it has spread and caused significant damage. Some common signs of gum disease are:

  1. Swollen and reddish gums
  2. Gums that feel tender when touched
  3. Bleeding – gums that bleed easily, especially when you brush your teeth. After brushing your teeth, you will notice streaks of blood in your saliva or a pink-tinged toothbrush.
  4. Persistent bad breath
  5. Recurrent mouth sores
  6. Pus between your teeth and gums
  7. Receding gums – the gums begin to pull away from your natural teeth.
  8. Small black triangles near the gum line – also called open gingival embrasures.

What Other Health Issues Can Gum Disease Cause?

Unfortunately, many patients in periodontics in Modesto, CA, suffer immense oral complications due to progressed and advanced gum disease. The reality is that periodontal disease is very damaging to oral health, even though it starts with poor oral hygiene. Some of the dental issues that gum disease causes are:

  1. Dental cavities – plaque and tartar are the primary causes of periodontal disease. The bacterial infection can spread in your mouth to attack even your teeth. Therefore, patients with gum disease have a high risk of tooth decay.
  2. Weak and wobbly teeth – when gums recede, they expose tooth roots. Exposed roots weaken teeth’ structures and even loosen their stability in the jawbone.
  3. Shifting teeth – the inadequate support for your teeth allows them to shift easily.
  4. Halitosis – is a persistent bad breath that does not go away even after brushing your teeth.
  5. Premature tooth loss – teeth obtain support and stability from the gums and jawbone. Gum disease threatens gum and jawbone health, increasing the risk of premature tooth loss. In fact, one of the periodontal treatment options we offer at 123 iSmile is tooth extractions for damaged teeth.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

The tips for how to prevent gum disease will only apply if you take your oral health seriously when you are home. You should not just care for your oral cavity by visiting a dentist in the dental office in Modesto, CA. Instead, your dental care measures will impact your gum and general oral health long-term. Some of the tips to prevent gum disease are:

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice every day.
  2. Do not skip flossing your teeth. Teeth brushing alone is not sufficient to remove plaque and tartar between teeth.
  3. Use the proper technique to clean your mouth. The first technique entails flossing teeth first, then brushing them. Further, switch to an electric toothbrush that is more thorough in cleaning teeth’ surfaces.
  4. Eat healthily – your gums will be healthy if you consume foods with essential nutrients and minerals.
  5. Use fluoride toothpaste – it strengthens your teeth, reducing the risk of dental cavities when you have gum disease.
  6. Quit smoking and taking alcohol – they promote swelling and heighten your risk of infection. Besides, smoking and taking alcohol can slow healing, making it difficult for your gums to heal well even after treatment.
  7. Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups – cleanings promote good oral hygiene, while checkups allow the dentist to identify anomalies early.
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