A lot of people are living with untreated gum disease. They figure the symptoms aren't so bad – a little swelling, redness, and occasional bleeding. Unfortunately, untreated gum disease can have a lot of consequences. Here are a few of them.
The same oral bacteria that cause gum disease cause tooth decay. They acids that they release as they feed on sugars eat away at your tooth enamel, causing decay. So if you let those bacteria linger in your infected gums (and gum disease is an infection), you will eventually be seeing your dentist to have cavities filled. It's a lot easier and less expensive to treat early-stage gum disease than to have six cavities filled!
Gum disease can take a turn for the worst rather quickly. You might just have some minor swelling and bleeding one day, but that gum disease can easily become worse. In its later stages, it is known as periodontal disease – and it attacks the ligaments that anchor your teeth to your jaw bone. Once these ligaments start being attacked, they weaken, allowing your teeth to wiggle around in your mouth and maybe even fall out eventually.
As strange as it might sound, gum disease and heart disease are closely related. Those who live with untreated gum disease are more likely to develop blood clots that lead to heart attacks. It is thought that the bacteria that cause gum disease also take up residence in the arteries and encourage plaque to build up on the walls of those arteries, making a heart attack more likely. If you're suffering from symptoms of gum disease, treat it now – before you're treating a heart attack.
Bad breath is a funny thing. Those who have it often don't realize they have it, but those around them certainly do! If you have gum disease, there's a pretty good chance you have bad breath, even if you can't smell it yourself. The bacteria that cause gum disease release smelly substances. No matter how much you rinse with mouthwash, your bad breath won't really go away until you cure your gum disease.
So if you have symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding and swollen gums, take action to treat it today. Start brushing more often, floss daily, and rinse with antiseptic rinses. If your symptoms don't clear up in a week or two, see your dentist. They can use deep cleaning procedures or antibiotics to encourage quick recovery from gum disease so you don't suffer the consequences above. Click here for info on gum disease.