Despite having “disease” in its name, many people underestimate the effects and consequences of unchecked gum disease. Often mistaken for a minor dental issue, gum disease can have a significantly negative impact on your oral health, leading to tooth loss and the destruction of your gums and jawbone structure. Gum disease can also influence your overall well being due to the rampant inflammation associated with it. Fortunately, you have a good chance of protecting your smile from gum disease if you know how to practice good hygiene and attend regular dental visits.
You might not catch it at first.
Gum disease is progressive, and when it first develops, its earliest stage is known as gingivitis (or gum inflammation). Gingivitis is the result of excessive oral bacteria gathering along your gum line, and before long, it can progress into fully mature gum disease. The common symptoms of gingivitis are red, inflamed, and sometimes-bleeding gums, though these symptoms are not always prominent and they often go unnoticed.
At some point, it becomes irreversible.
When your dentist detects gingivitis, he may be able to treat it before gum disease fully develops. However, once it does, the condition is no longer reversible, and caring for your smile will depend on controlling the disease through continuous periodontal maintenance.
Tooth loss is only one serious consequence.
Because the signs are discreet at first, many people don’t receive gum disease treatment in time and may experience tooth loss due to compromised gums and jawbone structure. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States; yet tooth loss isn’t the most severe consequence. Studies have shown that prolonged inflammation caused by gum disease can have a negative effect on your systemic health, increasing your risks for heart disease, diabetes, and other inflammatory conditions.
Learn More About Gum Disease from Your Dentist
The more you know about gum disease, the better prepared you will be to protect your smile and overall health from its consequences. To learn more about defeating gum disease, schedule a visit with your dentist by calling in Lake Forest, IL, today at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of the Greater Chicago Metro area.