Gum Disease-More Dangerous than You May Realize

by | Apr 5, 2013 | Dentist

Your gums are an important part of overall oral health. The gums act as a barrier to prevent inflammation which can spread to other parts of the body. Many don’t realize that gum disease has been linked to medical conditions such as premature birth, low-birth weight babies, diabetes, stroke and heart disease. If you haven’t been to see a Family Dentist Littleton for some time, you need to make an appointment right away. Although flossing, brushing and regular check-ups do a great deal to prevent gum disease, regular check-ups remain of great importance.

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. When you have this condition, the gums not only become red and inflamed, they may bleed very easily. Daily brushing and flossing combined with regular check-ups and cleanings can prevent this disease and reverse it in the early stages. If gingivitis is left untreated, it may lead to periodontitis which is more serious.

Periodontitis can lead to serious damage of the gums and structures which support the teeth. When you have periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth, leaving little pockets. Over time, the ligament and bone which support the tooth break down and the tooth may need to be removed or it may fall out.

It is estimated that one in seven adults between 35 and 44 years of age have gum disease of some type. By the age of 65, 25 percent have this condition. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, 20 to 30 percent of adults are at risk of losing teeth due to gum disease. Men are more susceptible to this condition and smokers are at much higher risk of severe periodontitis. If gum surgery is needed, smoking slows the healing process.

If your gums are red or swollen, you need to see a Family Dentist Littleton right away. The same is true if you have chronic bad breath or gums that bleed easily or feel tender. Pain when chewing and sensitive teeth are both signs of gum disease so dental care needs to be sought. If your gums appear to be pulling back from your teeth or you have loose teeth, gum disease may be the cause. Call a dentist in Littleton today and make an appointment to have your gums checked. Your overall health may be at risk if you don’t.

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