Periodontal Disease Threatens Your Teeth
As Well As Your Health
It’s common knowledge that periodontal (gum) disease can lead to tooth loss. But it may surprise you to learn that the bacteria associated with gum disease can cause far more serious conditions.
Recent studies have linked gum disease to an increased risk of:
- Heart Disease
- Certain cancers, including pancreatic cancer
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Complications controlling blood sugar levels in diabetes
- Low birth-weight babies
- Premature birth
Signs You Have Gum Disease
Gum disease can go completely undetected; in fact, you may have gum disease and not even know it. There often are no symptoms. Your gums can recede, leaving teeth vulnerable to decay and abscesses and leading to tooth loss – all without any bleeding or tenderness. The best way to make sure your gums are in optimal condition is to visit the dentist at least 2 times a year for an exam.
Minor symptoms of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Puffiness or tenderness of the gums
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Loose-feeling teeth
If you have any of these symptoms, call Dr. Whalen and schedule your check-up immediately at 845.452.7653.
Healthy gums and bone anchor teeth firmly in place.
Plaque and its byproducts irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed and likely to bleed.
Unremoved, plaque hardens into tartar. As plaque and tartar continue to build up, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth and pockets form between the teeth and gums.
The gums recede farther, destroying more bone and the periodontal ligament. Teeth – even healthy teeth – may become loose and need to be extracted.