Gum disease: it’s something no one wants to think about, but it can lead to some serious consequences. Your gums are part of the system that holds your teeth in place, and periodontal disease can lead to a whole host of problems, including missing teeth, chronic inflammation, and pain. Gum disease is more likely to cause tooth loss than even cavities. Unfortunately, many people don’t have much awareness about how serious gum disease can be. How much do you know about gum disease? Here are 5 basics you should be familiar with—for your health.
1. It’s Really, Really Common
Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss? Many people see this symptom of early gum inflammation on an everyday basis—and simply ignore it. Bleeding gums are a sign of developing gingivitis, which is an issue that leads to periodontal disease if left untreated. Periodontal disease is extremely common—in fact, 90% of adults and 30% of children have some type of periodontal disease. The older you are, the more likely it is that you’ve developed gum problems.
2. Symptoms Can Be Invisible
Many people don’t notice the signs of gum disease right away, because they can be difficult to detect without the help of a dentist. Bacteria works away quietly, eventually destroying the teeth and bones and introducing pathogens into the body. However, most people don’t think they have a problem—80% of people say they’ve never had gum disease, despite 72% of this majority showing symptoms. Most people don’t think they’re at risk for gum disease in the future, either. Awareness is the first step in prevention, and if you know that symptoms can seem mild for years, then you know you should get regular checkups from your dentist to ensure you catch any signs of gum disease early.
3. It Can Affect Your Overall Health
Aside from the scary prospect of losing your teeth, there are even scarier consequences of gum disease you may not know about. Think about it: bacteria enters your bloodstream through the mouth, traveling into many different areas of your body and putting you at risk for serious illnesses. Some of the health problems that can occur from gum disease bacteria include:
- Heart disease
- Mouth & throat cancer
- Colon cancer
- Kidney & lung infections
- Low fertility in men
- Erectile dysfunction
4. You Can Reduce Your Ris
With the disheartening numbers listed above, it’s easy to think that there’s no way to prevent gum disease, but that’s simply not the case. Though it’s not always possible to prevent gum disease, it’s not impossible either. You can reduce your risk for periodontal disease greatly by being diligent about your oral health. Aside from brushing the right way (and avoiding common pitfalls) and flossing daily, your greatest tool for preventing gum disease is your dentist. He or she will monitor your gum health during normal checkups and recommend treatment options like deep cleanings if there is a problem. Because gum disease is a lifelong threat, it’s important to continue your appointments as recommended by your dentist, and take care of your teeth properly every day.
5. It Can Be Treated
Statistically, you’re more than likely to develop gum disease at some point during your life. Don’t let that get you down! Periodontal issues can be treated, especially if they’re caught early. By visiting the dentist regularly, you can help ensure that gingivitis doesn’t progress onto the next stage of gum disease. If your periodontal disease is more advanced, you still have treatment options! A skilled dentist can help you with cleanings, laser, or surgical options.
Concerned? Visit a Specialist
Worried you might be showing signs of gum disease? It might be time to head to the dentist. If you’re looking for a true specialist in the field, consider a trip to Drs. Gallardo and Lamas in Miami. Our experts are acclaimed in the field of gum disease treatment, and can help you get the procedures you need to reverse any gum disease you may have. Call 305-447-1447 today to schedule your first appointment!