Is Gum Disease Really that Serious?

If you’ve been told that you need treatment for gum disease, then you’re not alone. Over 80% of adults in America have gum disease to some degree, and unfortunately, they always will. Once gum disease takes hold of your oral tissues, it cannot be eradicated. It can, however, be successfully controlled to prevent the disease from ravishing your smile. Still, the destructive powers of unchecked gum disease may be more serious than some people realize, and today, we explain what can happen if you fail to prevent it and hesitate to treat it.

The Effects on Your Oral Health

As the name suggests, gum disease afflicts the soft gingival tissue that surrounds, protects, and supports the roots of your teeth. It begins when excessive bacterial plaque builds up along your gum line. The germs that comprise plaque irritate your gum tissue, causing it to separate from your teeth and form periodontal pockets where more bacteria can accumulate. The bacterial infection, called gingivitis, also involves destructive inflammation that can exacerbate gum recession. When left unchecked, gum disease destroys the gums and jawbone that support your teeth.

Gum Inflammation and Your Systemic Health

One of the more notorious types of bacteria in dental plaque is called Porphyromonas gingivalis, and it’s been singled out as an especially destructive germ that helps pave the way for gum disease. P. gingivalis manipulate your immune system to survive, causing excessive inflammation in the tissues it infects. When inflamed gums or other compromised oral tissues bleed, oral bacteria may enter the bloodstream and travel to other areas of your body. In the case of P. gingivalis, the inflammation could seriously damage vital organs and lead to chronic systemic health issues like heart disease and diabetes.

Learn More About the Importance of Periodontal Health

Preventing or controlling gum disease helps more than your smile; it can also reduce your chances of experiencing increased health risks due to chronic inflammation. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call Woodland Hills Dental Arts in Woodland Hills, CA today at 818-347-5124.