Gum disease (periodontitis) is a serious condition affecting an estimated 85% of adults in the United States. The problem, however, is that most of those with gum disease don’t even realize they have it, making periodontitis a silent attacker.
How Gum Disease Destroys Your Smile
Periodontitis doesn’t strike overnight. Rather, it creeps up over the course of a few months.
Gum disease starts out as mild inflammation known as gingivitis. This infection is reversible but if you don’t treat it in time, the swelling can spread from the gums into the bone. The inflammation then causes the bone to disintegrate. As the jawbone shrinks, gums recede and teeth loosen.
The Connection Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Periodontitis is connected to other medical complications such as heart disease and stroke. The swelling in the gums triggers inflammation in blood vessels elsewhere.
Bacteria responsible for gum infections have also been found in some cases of pneumonia. This suggests that periodontitis can also cause serious respiratory infections.
Untreated gum disease can increase your risk for life-threatening conditions.
Gum Disease Linked to Premature Births
There’s a link between pregnant women with gum disease and premature births. That’s why it’s so important for women to pay attention to their oral health before and during pregnancy. Babies’ health depends on their mothers having a healthy body (and gums.)
Prevent the Silent Killer
The good news is that gum disease is avoidable. You can keep your gums healthy by:
Contact your dentist to learn more about maintaining healthy gums and preventing periodontitis.
Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
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