The Consequences of Gum Disease – Rowley, MA
Why You Can’t Ignore Swelling and Bleeding
Like many oral health issues, gum disease might not seem so dangerous at first. The earliest symptoms are usually very mild, and sometimes you might not notice any problems at all until Dr. St. Clair has examined you. Eventually, though, your gum disease could turn into periodontitis, and at that point you’ll suffer from serious health consequences – ones that you’ll need to address as soon as possible. If you want to avoid these issues, call us as soon as you suspect you have gum disease.
General Consequences of Periodontal Infection
Among the many side effects of gum disease, the most obvious is the tooth loss that occurs when the gums and underlying bone are damaged by a gum infection. The teeth continue to loosen as the tissues supporting them are destroyed and will eventually fall out. About 75% of adult tooth loss cases are linked to gum disease, so don’t delay in seeking treatment.
Natural Teeth Must Be Replaced
Your mouth can’t function correctly without a full set of teeth. If any are lost to gum disease, you’ll need to receive a restoration such as a bridge, partial dentures, or full dentures. Implants can also be used once your gum disease has been treated.
Sooner or later, if tooth loss is not corrected, you may end up needing dentures. And while prosthetic teeth are certainly preferable to no teeth, they will come with several disadvantages compared to your natural smile, including:
- A relatively limited diet
- Muted ability to taste your food
- A lisping or clacking sound whenever you speak
- Constant bad breath
- Discomfort from an ill-fitting prosthetic
- Self-consciousness over your teeth slipping
- An older appearance
Medical Consequences of Periodontal Infection
"People think of gum disease in terms of their teeth, but they don't think about the fact that gum disease is a serious infection that can release bacteria into the bloodstream."
Dr. Robert Genco, editor of Journal of Periodontology
Heart Disease & Heart Attack
While a direct causal link has yet to be found, people with periodontal disease are about 2.7 times more likely to suffer heart-related diseases.
It has been found that strokes occur 3 times as often in people who have a form of periodontal disease.
When a woman has gum disease while pregnant, she is 7 to 8 times more likely to end up delivering a baby with low birthweight earlier than is healthy.
Blood sugar levels may increase while you’re suffering from gum disease; without periodontal treatment, you may end up relying on insulin.
The bacteria that stay in your mouth during gum disease have a high chance of being inhaled and causing (or worsening) pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, and other respiratory diseases.
Your Bacteria Can Be Transmitted
There have been studies that show that the bacteria linked to gum disease can be transmitted to other people, such as from parent to child or between spouses.
Periodontal Infection is a Medical Problem
Periodontal disease has been researched thoroughly, and more and more links have been found between the condition and many systemic health problems. In other words, more than just your oral health is at risk.
Some Patients are At Higher Risk
Anyone can develop gum disease, but the consequences can be particularly dangerous for patients in the following groups:
Those having a personal or family history of:
- Heart Disease
- Heart Attack
- Premature Childbirth
- Respiratory Diseases
Those having higher risk lifestyles, including:
- Chronic Stress
- Sedentary and Overweight
- Frequent Colds, Flu etc.