There are two different forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is gum disease in the early stages, and causes bleeding gums and bad breath. This is the result of a build up of plaque that inflames the gums over time. Untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis. When this occurs, the gum is being worn down and the sufferer is at risk of loose teeth and potential tooth loss.
Gum disease doesn’t just mean a person can have bad breath and potentially lose their teeth; it can also have far reaching effects on the health in general.
High blood pressure
Some studies have found that gum disease could be directly related to high blood pressure. Getting treatment from a good dentist can allow people to reduce their blood pressure and keep it at a healthy level. If gum disease is not treated, and the patient’s blood pressure is consequently affected by this, they are then at risk of a whole host of other conditions. These include the following:
- Heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Heart failure
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that is characterised by inflammation and pain in the joints. People who have this condition are more likely to have gum disease; so anyone who does have it should ensure they have regular appointments with the dentist and hygienist in order to reduce the risk.
Confidence and self-esteem
People who suffer from gum disease often find that it affects their self-confidence. Worrying about smelly breath or missing teeth can cause people to shy away from contact with others – and become increasingly anxious about talking or even smiling. This can mean that a person’s social and professional life, even their relationships, can be negatively impacted by gum disease.
How to prevent and treat gum disease
The most important means of preventing and treating gum disease is taking care to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing the teeth and flossing or using interdental brushes twice daily can dramatically reduce the accumulation of plaque on the teeth and gums – and this is what causes gum disease.
It’s also vital to see the dentist for regular check-ups, even if the teeth and gums appear to be fine. A good dentist can spot the early signs of gum disease, and give guidance on how to treat it as well as prevent it recurring. Seeing the hygienist can also be of great benefit in treating and preventing gum disease – this expert can ensure that the teeth and gums are as clean as possible. This can make oral hygiene at home much easier, as it’s about maintaining the work that has been done rather than starting from scratch trying to remove plaque – which can be very difficult for an individual to do by themselves.
Gum disease can have a big impact on the overall health, so its’ essential to treat and prevent it with the help of an expert professional.