Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection within the soft tissues that support your teeth. What starts as minor inflammation from plaque buildup can progress to a serious infection that destroys underlying bone. At its early stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis. This is the most treatable phase of the infection, often reversible with better hygiene efforts and a deep cleaning. However, when gum disease is allowed to progress, the consequences are dismal.
Just like any other infection in your body that is not treated, the infection in gum disease can spread over time and cause destruction along its path. Here are the potential threats that gum disease can produce if not treated in a timely manner:
Receding Gums – As the infection sets in within the soft tissues, you’ll notice that your gums will recede and actually pull away from the roots of your teeth. This forms deep pockets of tissues that invite additional bacteria and plaque. Teeth sensitivity is common at this stage.
Underlying Bone Loss – Your jawbone is what anchors your tooth roots. However, gum disease can destroy this supportive bone, which causes your teeth to lose stabilization. In addition, you may find that you don’t qualify for dental implants in the future due to this loss of bone height.
Tooth Movement/ Tooth Loss – Without a firm foundation of bone and supportive tissues, your teeth may start to feel loose or even fall out.
Systemic Health Dangers – The infection within your gums can travel in your bloodstream to other parts of your body. Advanced, untreated gum disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and premature births.
It is critical that you keep a close eye on your gum health. If you notice that your gums look more red or puffy than usual or if they bleed easily when you brush, make an appointment to see your dentist. At Riverwood Dental, we take pride in our ability to offer the most proven treatments for gum disease. Regardless of how progressed your gum infection is, we promise to find a solution to restore your oral health.