According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47.2% of adults over 30 years old have gum disease, which tends to worsen with age. Although it’s one of the most common oral health conditions, it can go unnoticed.
Because cavities and impacted wisdom teeth are frequently emphasized, gum disease gets pushed to the background until it’s a serious problem. However, everyone needs to learn about the complications it presents and how to prevent it.
What Is Gum Disease?
The official name for gum disease is periodontal disease. It occurs when the tissues that hold your teeth in place become infected due to large amounts of plaque and bacteria.
Some cases are mild. These cases are characterized by swollen gums and bleeding, and they are often reversible. Advanced stages of this disease involve rapid bone loss and, eventually, tooth loss.
You’ll need to visit a dentist for an official diagnosis and proper treatment, but some common symptoms include:
- Constant bad breath
- Bleeding or sore gums
- Pain when chewing
- Red or swollen gums
- Tooth loss
- Receding gums
Sensitive teeth may be a symptom, but some people experience tooth sensitivity even though they maintain healthy gum tissue.
5 Essential Facts About Gum Disease
Learning some facts will give you a better understanding of who it affects and what risks it creates for your body.
1. Genetics Plays a Role
A significant contributing factor is genetics. Even if you have a solid oral hygiene routine, you’re still at risk if it’s in your family history. However, that doesn’t mean you are doomed to develop it.
Regular dental appointments and a healthy lifestyle will help keep your mouth healthy. If you use tobacco products, consider quitting to reduce the chances of developing periodontal disease.
2. It May Be Linked to Other Health Conditions
Numerous studies have demonstrated a possible connection between gum disease and other health conditions. Those conditions include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Good oral hygiene prevents and also protects other body parts from illness.
3. Dental Implants Are Affected
Sometimes, dental implants fail due to infection. While the metal implants can’t become infected, the tissue surrounding them can. Without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can accumulate, causing an infection. Any traces of gum disease should be treated before placing implants.
4. It’s Contagious
Bacteria from a person with periodontal disease can spread to someone without it through a saliva exchange. Sharing the same dessert spoon, using the same toothbrush, and kissing can put you at risk.
If you or someone you know shows signs of having gum disease, avoid sharing kitchen utensils without washing them between uses.
5. It’s Not a Disease for the Elderly
A common belief is that gum disease affects only the elderly. Anyone, even children and pets, can get periodontal disease. Routine dental appointments are crucial for patients of all ages to keep their oral health in check.
Prevent Gum Disease by Visiting Diana Rodriguez & Associates
We want to help keep your gums healthy! Call us today to schedule a free consultation. If we find signs of gum disease, we’ll discuss your treatment plan and get started improving your oral health.