Ever heard of gum disease? Well, of course, you have! Unfortunately, many people tend to dismiss the warning signs of this serious dental issue. Neglecting it can lead to more advanced stages of periodontal disease and progress into life-threatening medical conditions. But if addressed early and treated right away, gum disease or periodontitis is nothing to worry about and can be reserved. Therefore, the first and the most important thing you should do if you think you may have irritated or swollen gums is to visit your dentist. In this blog, we will discuss the major health risks associated with untreated gum disease.
What are the Common Warning Signs of Gum Disease?
Before assessing the severe health risks tied with untreated or unchecked gum disease, you must also know the warning signs. Gum disease, also scientifically known as periodontitis, is a widespread dental health issue that has been tied to serious health problems, but it can be surprisingly easy to overlook. However, you can prevent advanced periodontal disease in unexpectedly easy ways. Just maintaining a good oral hygiene routine goes a long way. At the same time keep a close eye on the following symptoms:
- Chronic foul or bad breath
- Bleeding in the gums
- Pain when chewing
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Red, inflamed gums
- Receding gum line
- Sensitivity in the teeth
If you or someone you love are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, contact your dental professional to schedule an appointment before the problem escalates.
What Could Happen If Gum Disease Is left Untreated or Unchecked?
Gum disease or periodontitis is a serious infection in the gums. The main cause of gum disease poor is poor dental hygiene. When dental plaque is left to build upon the teeth and along the gum line, gum disease develops. Unfortunately, gum disease is a dental health issue that leads to severe consequences if left unaddressed. The dangers of untreated gum disease include tooth loss, bleeding gums, pain and other health issues. Fortunately, mild to moderate gum disease is completely reversible, as long as you seek treatment from the dental professional early on. Learn more about the health problems that can arise from neglecting the signs of gum disease and allowing it to become a serious issue.
1. Respiratory Problems
Your respiratory system can suffer a lot as a result of untreated gum disease. Dental plaque contains a number of harmful bacteria. When dental plaque is not removed from the gum lines and teeth, the infectious bacteria in the mouth from infected and swollen gums can move down into the throat and can be inhaled through your lungs. As a result, inhaled bacteria can lead to respiratory infections, acute bronchitis, and even pneumonia.
2. Heart Disease and Stroke
Having poor dental oral hygiene habits puts an individual at risk for cardiovascular disease. If the gums are swollen and constantly bleeding due to the infectious bacteria that caused gum disease, that same harmful bacteria can easily enter into the bloodstream causing the arteries (blood vessels) to accumulate plaque and harden it into tartar. As a result, it can further lead to heart blockages and blood flow issues in the body, thereby increasing the risk of a heart attack. Furthermore, patients who are already suffering from periodontal disease are three times as likely to suffer from a stroke.
There is no doubt that diabetes is a major health concern globally, and it is a health issue that places a higher risk on patients who already suffer from gum disease. Not only are diabetes patients already more susceptible to inflamed and bleeding gums that lead to gum disease, but unchecked gum disease can, in turn, making diabetes harder to control, thereby putting patients at risk for Type 2 diabetes. Thankfully, early detection of gum disease can help prevent the health issue from spreading further to reach this point.
4. Pregnancy Risks
Hopefully, we all are aware of the fact that taking care of your oral health while pregnant is just as vital as taking care of your overall health. It is because an expectant mother is more likely to develop gum infection due to changing hormone levels, causing chronic irritation and inflammation in the gums. If left untreated or unchecked, gum disease or periodontal disease have been known to put a pregnant woman at a higher risk of having premature delivery with low birth weight. Furthermore, gum disease can put both the expecting mother and her baby at greater risk of experiencing other serious health problems.
The Bottom line
Being aware of gum disease or periodontal disease is a great thing, but scheduling regular visits with a dental professional is better. Taking care of dental issues like gum disease can go a long way toward reducing the risk of severe complications throughout the body.