What You Can Do About Gum Disease
FACT: Statistics show that as many as 75 percent of adults over the age of 30 may suffer from some degree of gum disease. It’s the most common disease of humans.
Gum disease may be a risk factor for a number of serious health conditions such as heart disease and stroke, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, diabetes and premature or low birth weight babies.
If you have gum disease, the bacteria from swollen or bleeding gums can travel through the bloodstream, potentially worsening or causing other types of health problems.
How gum disease develops
Gum disease starts with the formation of hard and soft deposits on the surface of the teeth. Over time, a buildup of bacteria called plaque collects at the gum line, eventually hardening on the teeth into deposits called calculus or tartar.
Without proper oral care, these bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), penetrate the gum line and finally spread into the underlying bone (periodontitis).
If left untreated, the infection can eventually lead to shrinking and/or swelling, bleeding gums, loose teeth, abscesses and, ultimately, loss of teeth.
What you can do
If you have gum disease and/or are at risk for heart disease, stroke or respiratory diseases, it is particularly important to pay attention to your oral health. With regular, proper home and professional oral care, gum disease can be controlled and sometimes even stopped or reversed.