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Dangers of Untreated Gum Disease

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Dangers of Untreated Gum Disease

May 6, 2024
Dangers of Untreated Gum Disease

Gum disease is nothing to smile about. In fact, if left untreated, gum disease, also called periodontal disease, can result in serious complications that many people completely overlook, including issues like bone loss, pneumonia, and even increased chances of arthritis or Alzheimer's. 

Fortunately, getting gum disease treatment is relatively straightforward so long as those at risk or dealing with gum disease regularly visit their periodontist. A periodontist will use specialty treatment to clean your gums and prevent some of these serious issues.  

If you have been experiencing mouth or jaw pain, unusual bad breath, or bleeding and swelling in your gums, you may have gum disease. In this post, we will discuss some of the signs of gum disease, the complications gum disease can cause, and the irreversible damage it can cause to your oral health.  


What are the Signs of Gum Disease? 


Periodontal disease is a common dental problem that affects many individuals; however, it can be extremely dangerous if not treated by a professional. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of this condition is crucial for early detection and prompt treatment. There are several indicators to watch out for. Let's look at a few that are clear signs of a high-risk factor for gum disease.  


Bad Breath 


Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common sign of gum disease. We're not talking about regular morning breath. Gum disease causes intense and persistent bad breath that does not go away after brushing and flossing. This unpleasant odor occurs when bacteria accumulates in the mouth and releases foul-smelling gases, serious gum disease amps up the odor, and if you are experiencing new or unusual bad breath, that is a clear sign of periodontal disease.  


Red or Inflamed Gums 


Red or inflamed gums are another indication of gum disease. Healthy gums should be pink and firm, but if they appear swollen or irritated, it is a cause for concern. If your gums are puffy and sore to the touch, or red and irritated, then that is another sign that you may be dealing with gum disease. 


Bleeding Gums 


Bleeding gums are often a sign of gum disease. If your gums bleed while brushing or flossing, it is important to seek dental care. Of course, it is natural for your gums to bleed minorly after a particularly intense bout of flossing, but if they are bleeding every ttime you brush or floss, you may have periodontal disease. 


Pain While Chewing 


Eating food should be a pleasurable experience. However, if you find it painful to chew and swallow, then eating will become a chore. What's more, pain when chewing can also indicate gum disease. Damaged or infected gums can cause discomfort while eating, particularly when biting down on hard or crunchy foods.  


Loose Teeth in Adulthood 


Loose teeth are a symptom often associated with advanced stages of gum disease. As the condition worsens, the gums and surrounding bone can weaken, leading to tooth mobility. If your teeth are loose, then this can be a clear sign of tooth or bone loss. Seek help from a periodontist immediately.  


Receding Gums 


If you have noticed that your gum line is Gum recession exposes the tooth roots, making them more susceptible to sensitivity when exposed to hot, cold, or sweet substances. Receding gums, or the shrinking of gum tissue, is a common indication of gum disease. This condition not only affects the appearance of the smile but can also lead to tooth loss if left untreated. 

Discover more about how you can tell if you have gum disease. Read more here! 

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The Complications of Gum Disease 


Untreated periodontal disease can lead to several complications that can greatly impact one's oral health and overall well-being. These issues are not only painful, but they can also be potentially life-threatening if allowed to escalate.  

One of the complications that can arise is recurrent gum abscesses. These are painful infections that form within the gums and can cause swelling, redness, and pus-filled pockets. If left untreated, these abscesses can repeatedly come back, causing even more discomfort. 

In addition, untreated gum disease can damage the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. The periodontal ligament is responsible for connecting the tooth to the bone, while the alveolar bone supports the tooth. When gum disease progresses, it can cause the ligament and bone to deteriorate, leading to tooth mobility and eventually tooth loss. Missing teeth can significantly impact a person's ability to bite, chew, and speak properly, affecting their overall quality of life. 

Moreover, receding gums can occur as a complication of gum disease. As the gums pull away from the teeth, their roots become exposed and vulnerable to infection. This can further contribute to tooth sensitivity, pain, and an increased risk of tooth decay. 

Not only does gum disease affect oral health, but it can also have a broader impact on overall well-being. The bacteria associated with gum disease can enter the bloodstream and contribute to other health problems. These include an increase in blood sugar levels for individuals with diabetes, which can be problematic in terms of managing their condition. Also, gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease, as well as conditions like arthritis and pneumonia. 

Still more concerning, Harvard Health says that those with gum disease are two to three times as likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular event. That means if you suffer from periodontal disease, you are more likely to experience heart disease or cardiovascular diseases.  


Treat Gum Disease at Bonomo Periodontics 


Keeping your gums healthy and disease-free is one of the most important things you can do to protect not only your oral hygiene but your overall health. Dental cleanings help with this as does a daily oral hygiene routine. However, people with gum disease, or those who fear that they are developing gum disease, either because of pain in the soft tissue of the mouth, bad breath, or other symptoms, should schedule an appointment with a periodontist immediately. 

Advanced gum disease, or any form of gum disease, can be very serious, so do not delay. Schedule an appointment with Bonomo Periodontics. Dr. Raymond Bonomo is Cincinnati's foremost expert on periodontal care, and he can help you find the relief you need. 

Click here to schedule an appointment today! 

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