Have you been experiencing pain or discomfort when brushing or flossing? These could be signs of gum disease, an inflammatory condition that should not be ignored as it can have serious consequences if left untreated. Read on to discover the five serious potential side effects of untreated gum disease and what you can do to protect your oral health.
Bone Loss and Tooth Loss
One of the most common – and serious – potential side effects of untreated gum disease is bone loss around teeth and tooth loss. When the gums become infected due to bacteria, an inflammatory response is triggered and gums can pull away from the teeth. This weakens the connection between the gum tissue and bone, leading to bone loss in some cases. Eventually this can cause teeth to become loose or even fall out.
Gum disease has also been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems. A number of studies conducted over the past few years have suggested a link between gum disease and heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular issues. This is thought to be due to the bacteria in the gums, as they can travel through the blood stream and cause inflammation in other parts of the body.
Another serious potential side effect of untreated gum disease is respiratory issues. Bacteria from the gums can travel to the lungs and cause inflammation, which can lead to a range of conditions such as bronchitis, pneumonia or even chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).
Gum disease can also have an impact on diabetes. High blood glucose levels caused by diabetes make it harder for the body to fight off infections, making sufferers of diabetes more prone to developing gum disease. In turn, having active gum disease can increase blood sugar levels and make it harder to control diabetes.
Gum disease is a serious and often overlooked condition that can have far-reaching consequences if left untreated. From bone loss and tooth loss to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, respiratory issues and diabetes complications, there are many potential side effects of untreated gum disease that shouldn’t be ignored. The best way to protect your oral health is to take good care of your teeth and gums and visit your dentist regularly for checkups.
What are the signs of gum disease?
Common signs of gum disease include red, swollen or tender gums, bad breath, receding gums, loose teeth or a change in the position of your teeth.
Are there any treatments for gum disease?
Yes, there are a range of treatments available depending on the severity of the gum disease. These include regular dental check-ups, professional cleaning and scaling and surgery to remove damaged tissue or bone.
Can gum disease be reversed?
Yes, in some cases gum disease can be reversed and the gums can heal. This is typically done through lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, regularly brushing and flossing and eating a healthy diet.