When you have a problem and it gets more and more complicated, you say it is all gummed up. The problem seems to be leading to where there is no solution. Gum disease is a serious problem that if left untreated can result in the loss of teeth. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, will worsen to the point where there is no natural return. The solution becomes all gummed up.
Gum disease is a disease that involves bacterial infection of the gums and supporting fibers and bones that keep your teeth in place. There are several kinds of periodontal diseases, but the two most common are:
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is progressive. It begins with gingivitis. Gums, with a scientific name of gingival, become inflamed with bacterial infection. But the infection is only in the gums and has not reached the bone that seats the teeth. With gingivitis the gums become very tender and bleed quite easily. They may turn red or swell. Periodontitis is a more advanced stage of periodontal disease. If gingivitis is not treated it will continue to advance to periodontitis. Plaque gets below the gums and produces irritating toxins. The body goes on attack in self-defense and actually begins to break down the tissues and bones that hold teeth. Gum disease has several unpleasant symptoms.
- Persistent bad breath due to bacteria
- Gums begin to separate from the teeth
- Gum pockets become filled with plaque bacteria
- Bacteria continues to go deeper and destroy tissue and bones
- Teeth become loose
Once the teeth become loose, they most likely will have to be pulled. They are loose because there is not enough bone and tissue left to hold them steady. The interesting thing is that this process is virtually painless. You can be in the advanced stages of gum disease and not know it until your teeth become loose.
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health. But did you know that it is a significant contributor to gum disease? Smoking is double trouble. Tobacco use has been shown to cause gum disease to be worse than it would be for a nonsmoker. It is another reason to quit smoking. But there are other factors that can contribute to gum disease.
- Failure to brush and floss twice a day
- Stress can hinder your body’s ability to fight infection
- Grinding your teeth
- Illnesses such as diabetes
- Poor diet that does not provide the right vitamins and minerals for gum health
Preventing gum disease is not difficult. Make sure you brush and floss twice a day to prevent the build up of plaque. Also, visit the dentist for a thorough cleaning twice a year. This will eliminate plaque you miss with brushing.
A Wide Smile, Please
Gum disease should be taken very seriously. Bacteria from gum disease has been linked to other diseases such as heart disease. The research to date believes the bacteria gets into the blood stream and infects other organs. Take care of your gums and teeth. They are part of your overall health.