You might realize that gum disease could become a serious threat to your smile if it ever develops. It’s common knowledge that the disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss today (it’s the number-one cause, in fact). However, would you know how to spot it if you did develop it, or what it could threaten beyond your oral health if you don’t? Some of the most important things about gum disease are about more than what common knowledge might tell you, and not knowing could have significant consequences for your oral health.
The beginning stages of gum disease aren’t as obvious as you might expect, given the severe nature of what the disease can do to your smile. At first, gum disease begins as a minor infection in your gums, which can cause the tissues to become red and inflamed. This is the result of oral bacteria accumulating along your gum line and underneath your gums, and it can be the first warning that your gums are at a high risk of developing more serious gum disease. However, you might not notice the changing appearance of your gums at first, and by the time you do, the damage gum disease has caused may already be significant.
If you do happen to notice that your gums seem to be changing slightly, the change may seem so minimal that seeking treatment doesn’t seem imperative. The truth, though, is that your gums were at risk the moment oral bacteria worked their way underneath them. Hesitating further to treat the disease can lead to more severe consequences than you might realize, and the compounding effects of those consequences are why gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss.
Even after losing teeth to gum disease, the inflammation and destruction of your gums and dental ridge will continue. This will increase your risks of losing more teeth, as well as experiencing heightened risks of other chronic, inflammatory health concerns, including cardiovascular and heart diseases. The best way to avoid these consequences is to treat your gum disease as soon as possible by visiting your dentist.
The good news about gum disease is that, even if it does develop, you may still control it and prevent it from causing significant harm by seeking appropriate care for it as soon as possible. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Yelena Popkova D.D.S. in Merrimack, NH, today at 603-595-9400. We also serve the residents of Nashua, Hudson, Manchester, Milford, and all surrounding communities.