Many people may be surprised to learn that gum disease is a chronic health condition that can affect a patient’s overall health and wellbeing. Nearly four out of every five patients will suffer from some form of gum disease in their lifetime. When advanced gum disease goes untreated by a periodontist or dentist, the condition ultimately becomes irreversible.
Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis, wreaks chaos on a patient’s oral health. As a systemic and chronic infection, the gums begin to recede away from teeth and the infection spreads throughout the mouth. As teeth lose their natural support from gum tissue, bacteria and tartar begin to attack the roots of teeth. The accumulation of tartar along a tooth’s roots caused by untreated gum disease is actually the primary cause of tooth loss in adulthood.
As the infection aggressively attacks teeth and soft tissues, it will ultimately spread to bone. Patients with chronic periodontitis may experience bone degeneration, a condition that also contributes to tooth loss.
Some researchers have linked periodontitis to other health conditions that affect the cardiovascular and immune system. Once the infection spreads, it can enter the bloodstream, where some evidence suggests that bacteria-ridden compounds can attach to plaque in the arteries. For patients already suffering with immune system suppression, advanced gum disease can be more difficult to manage.
Your periodontist strongly encourages you to seek treatment as soon as signs of gum disease appear. Common symptoms associated with periodontal disease include:
- Gums that bleed when brushing and flossing
- Feelings of pain and discomfort when the gums are touched
- Red and purple looking gum tissue
- Pus and sores forming along the gum line
- Recession of the gums away from teeth
After an assessment of your oral health and the extent of your gum disease, your periodontist will develop a treatment plan that suits your unique needs. Treatment for periodontal disease often includes deep cleanings that remove tartar above and below the gum line, surgical intervention, and medications to kill bacteria.
To learn more about your treatment options or to schedule an appointment, call ROOT Periodontal & Implant Center at either of our two convenient locations today.