Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums and the tissues surrounding it, primarily caused by poor oral hygiene. According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, over 80 percent of adults have some form of gum disease, and over 90 percent of those who have it do not know they do.
Important facts about gum disease
Gum disease can lead to other health problems
Gum disease is not limited to your oral health. Research has shown that it has also been linked to heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. You can avoid putting your health at risk by practicing good oral hygiene and living a healthier lifestyle.
It leads to chronic bad breath
If you have persistent bad breath that doesn’t seem to go away even though you brush your teeth regularly, you probably have gum disease. A gum disease, like gingivitis, is a bacterial infection that puts off an unpleasant odor, similar to what you expect when you have an open sore that festers. Instead of brushing more frequently and chewing excessive amounts of gum, schedule an appointment with your dentist to get the problem taken care of.
It has been linked to genetics
According to research conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology, your genetics can influence your vulnerability to gum disease. Even if you spent your entire life brushing your teeth regularly you can still be at risk of getting gum disease if it runs in your family.
You should also know that it is contagious — gum disease can be passed on to other people who do not have it if you kiss or share food and drinks.
Early symptoms are difficult to spot
One of the reasons 90 percent of the people with gum disease do not go to see the dentist for treatment is because they do not know they have gum disease. The early symptoms are very difficult to notice unless you go to the dentist for regular checkups. By the time the disease reaches advanced levels, you start to notice the symptoms, which include swollen and bleeding gums.
Dental implants are affected by gum disease
Since dental implants are artificial teeth, they technically cannot be infected by the disease. However, the surrounding tissues around the implants are real and they can be infected, leading to the failure of the implants.
It is not limited to older people
When people hear about gum disease, a lot of them believe it is something they will have to worry about when they are in their golden years, which is far from the truth. Gum disease can affect anyone from children to senior citizens, which means nobody is safe from the disease.
It shortens your life
When gum disease is left untreated for a long time, it leads to the loss of teeth. According to research, the loss of your natural teeth shortens your lifespan, and the more teeth you lose the shorter your life expectancy. If you want to live into your golden years, try to protect your natural teeth as long as possible.
Gum disease can harm your health in many ways, which is why it should not be taken lightly. If you have gum disease or just want to make sure you do not, schedule an appointment with your dentist to find out more about the disease and how to treat it.
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