As one of the most common chronic conditions that affect patients’ smiles, gum disease is often one of the most worrisome. For patients in North Hollywood, CA, untreated gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss, though its potential effects can reach beyond your oral health. Today, we examine why gum disease can often lead to a lifetime of oral health complications (and more), and why addressing it as early as possible is the best way to avoid those complications.
Advanced gum disease isn’t curable
When gum disease first develops, it begins a bacteria-caused infection in your gum tissues. Known as gingivitis, this first stage of the disease may be reversed if treated promptly. Periodontal cleaning (also known as scaling and root planing) allows your dentist to carefully remove harmful oral bacteria your teeth roots and underneath your gums, allowing the gums to heal. When gingivitis progresses, however, the damage it causes is much more significant and its presence can no longer be reversed.
It’s also the biggest cause of tooth loss
The good news is that gum disease can be controlled, even if it can’t be cured. With proper periodontal cleaning and routine maintenance, your dentist can help you stop it from growing worse. However, patients who don’t address it often experience tooth loss as a result of gum disease’s presence, which erodes the periodontal tissues and jawbone structure that support your teeth. Fortunately, you can replace your teeth and rebuild your smile after getting your gum disease under control with expert care.
The chronic inflammation is a health risk
The damage that gum disease causes is due in part to the presence of oral bacteria themselves, but mainly, the inflammation that results as certain types of bacteria hijacking your immune system. These microbes produce molecules that stop your immune system from shutting down inflammation. As a result, periodontal tissues continue to swell in the presence of gum disease. In worst-case scenarios, these same microbes can enter the bloodstream through bleeding, diseased gums, raising your risks of other chronic inflammatory conditions such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and more.
Protect Your Smile from Gum Disease and Its Effects
Gum disease isn’t just common; it can also be a significant threat to your smile and the rest of your systemic health if you don’t address it as soon as possible. For more information about how to prevent gum disease from affecting you for life, schedule a consultation by calling Modern Smile in North Hollywood, CA, today at 818-763-9353. We also proudly serve patients who live in Burbank, Toluca Lake, and all surrounding communities.