Did you know that over 47% of adults in the United States suffer from some form of periodontal disease? Gum disease is a serious oral health issue that can lead to tooth loss, bone damage, and even systemic health problems if left untreated.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection that affects the tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth. It typically starts with inflammation of the gums, which can progress to more severe stages if left untreated.
The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. In this stage, you may notice bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth. Your gums may also appear red and swollen. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. This is a more serious form of gum disease where bacteria start attacking the bone and connective tissue holding your teeth in place. As a result, your teeth become loose and eventually fall out.
While some may assume that gum disease is only caused by poor oral hygiene practices, there are actually various risk factors involved in the development of this condition.
One significant risk factor for gum disease is age. As we get older, our bodies become more susceptible to infections and diseases, including those affecting the gums. Additionally, hormonal changes can increase the likelihood of developing gum disease in women during pregnancy or menopause.
Smoking and tobacco use are other major contributors to the onset of gum disease. Smoking weakens the immune system and damages tissue in your mouth, making it harder for your body to fight off infections like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and autoimmune disorders, can also increase one's risk of developing gum disease. These conditions weaken the body's immune system response which makes it difficult to combat harmful bacteria from causing damage to tooth enamel and soft tissues.
Genetics play a role in an individual's susceptibility to developing gum disease; if someone has immediate family members who have suffered from periodontal issues before, then they too might be at higher risk than others without genetic disposition towards these kinds of diseases.
Taking the necessary steps to prevent gum disease from occurring in the first place and addressing it early on if it does occur will help keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime!
To learn more, visit Advanced Dentistry at 9920 U.S. Highway 90-A, Suite 100-C, Sugar Land, TX 77478, or call (281) 494-5600.