Chances are that you already know that gum disease can lead to bad breath and loose teeth. Maybe you even knew that gum disease can cause problems with your jaw. But did you know that gum disease, if left untreated can cause serious problems in other parts of your body? For example, if you live with diabetes, gum disease can make it more difficult for you to control you blood sugar, and can make your diabetes symptoms worse. Inhaling the bacteria present in gum disease could eventually result in a respiratory infection. If the bacteria finds its way into your bloodstream, you are at an increased risk for a heart attack or a stroke. Bacteria from your gum disease that works its way into your nervous system could cause dementia.
The primary cause of gum disease is the presence of plaque and tartar on your teeth. The plaque will cause your gums to swell which in turn permits plaque to build up below your gumline. This is what permits bacteria to enter your system and cause an infection. If you develop gum disease, your dentist may suggest a change in your brushing and flossing routine, or a change in your diet or lifestyle. Another way to fight gum disease is through what is called a deep cleaning, during which the dentist cleans the plaque and tartar from your teeth and cleans and smooths the roots. In some cases, you may need medication, or even surgery to combat gum disease. Remember that best way to fight gum disease is to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, and see your dentist for your routine appointments.
Some of the symptoms of gum disease include loose teeth, bad breath, and receding gums. If your gums are swollen, tender, or bleed when you brush and floss, or are a bright red color, you should talk with our dentist, Dr. Mark DeWitt about gum disease. If you live in the Lansing, Michigan, area and would like to make an appointment at Mark L. DeWitt DDS, call 517-323-7926 today.