Gum disease affects about 60% of adults in the United States over the age of 40. Still, its prevalence isn’t the most disturbing thing you should know about gum disease. Although the infection that leads to it, called gingivitis, is reversible with well-timed treatment, the actual disease is irreversible once it develops. Unfortunately for your dental health, its persistence can leave a noticeable effect on your dental health, as well as your overall wellbeing and quality of life.
It isn’t always curable.
Gum disease is caused by harmful oral bacteria accumulating on your gums. As the germs work their way underneath your gums, the infection can lead to swelling, redness, and bleeding. If you heed the warning signs and seek treatment immediately, then you may have a chance of reversing the infection and preventing gum disease development. Otherwise, the bacteria can overwhelm your gums, and gum disease can remain present for the rest of your life.
It can lead to chronic bad breath.
Some bacteria directly cause bad breath by releasing volatile sulfur compounds. Others contribute to bad breath by causing infections, like gum disease, that can release other foul-smelling compounds as the infection spreads through your oral tissues. Advanced gum disease is a common reason for halitosis, or chronic bad breath that won’t go away even with good hygiene.
It’s the main cause of tooth loss.
As it destroys your gums and the underlying jawbone that supports your teeth, gum disease can render your jawbone too weak to retain all of your natural teeth. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of permanent tooth loss in the US. By the time many patients seek treatment, gum disease has often already caused enough damage to their gums and jawbone to make tooth loss or extraction imminent.
Learn How to Protect Your Smile from Gum Disease
Protecting your smile from gum disease helps improve your long-term oral health as well as your smile’s appearance and overall wellbeing. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities.