Half of American adults have gum disease
While this statistic should be alarming, many patients think “If almost everyone has it, it must not be that big of a deal.” This notion could not be more dangerous or farther from the truth. The fact of the matter is, gum disease that is left untreated can increase your risk of much more serious systemic health complications down the road like heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease, periodontal disease, or periodontitis, is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth. When proper oral hygiene care is not followed, and bacteria is allowed to remain on teeth, gums, and the spaces in between, the gums become red, swollen, and irritated, and will often bleed with regular brushing and flossing. This first stage is called gingivitis.
When left untreated, gingivitis will progress into more serious forms of gum disease known as periodontitis, and chronic periodontitis, or advanced gum disease. At this point, the gums become irritated and begin to recede or pull away from the teeth. Supporting gum tissue is destroyed, bone structure can be lost, and teeth become loose to the point where they eventually fall out entirely.
Gum disease & systemic health
What most people don’t realize is that your oral health and overall health go hand-in-hand. The mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body, and if you don’t take good care of your mouth, you are putting yourself at risk for more serious systemic and overall health problems.
The link lies in the bacteria that causes gum disease, and the inflammation that is the result. Harmful bacteria in the mouth have a quick and easy pathway to enter the rest of the body and wreak havoc. Research has found a strong correlation between gum disease and serious systemic health problems like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Treating gum disease
If you notice any of the signs and symptoms of gum disease, do not wait for it to progress into something more serious. Early detection and treatment is essential if you wish to keep your mouth and your body healthy.
At My Dentist for Life, Dr. Rizvi is skilled in traditional gum disease treatment through scaling and root planning. This is a surgical technique that involves pulling the gums away from the teeth to allow for comprehensive cleaning and removal of diseased tissue, and reattaching healthy tissue. The results are predictable in reducing pocket depth, thus minimizing opportunity for bacteria to thrive.
If your gums frequently bleed, are red or swollen, or you notice your teeth appear larger than before due to gum recession, please contact your Fort Lauderdale dentist, Dr. Rizvi immediately.
If you have any questions about gum disease, or would like to schedule an appointment with your Fort Lauderdale dentist, Dr. Rizvi at My Dentist for Life, please contact our Plantation dental office today at 954-532-8517.