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Causes of Bleeding Gums and Gum Disease

Although most of us are aware of the importance of promptly treating cavities so that we don’t lose our teeth, many people aren’t aware of the importance of properly maintaining their gums and keeping them free from infection and decay. Known as gingivitis in its early stage, gum disease can wreak havoc on your entire body. Please continue reading to learn more about the dire effects of untreated gum disease on all your major organs as well as your overall physical health.

Is Gum Disease Serious?

In its earliest stage of gingivitis, gum disease can be stopped, and the damage it has caused can be reversed. However, if it’s not treated, it can develop into periodontal disease. At this point, the disease can be stopped, but the damage it has caused is irreversible. If you have the early warning signs of gingivitis, it’s imperative that you schedule an appointment with your Florida dentist without delay. Otherwise, you are at risk of losing your teeth, destroying your gums and jawbone, and causing your facial structure to become distorted. Additionally, research has shown a positive correlation between gum disease and many serious health ailments, so don’t ignore the early signs of gum disease.

Will Gum Disease Negatively Impact My Overall Health?

Gum disease is an infection and inflammation in the gums. Since the membranes in your mouth are very thin, the bacteria that are responsible for the infection and inflammation can easily penetrate those thin barriers and be absorbed into your bloodstream. They are then carried throughout the body and deposited into all your major organs. Those who have untreated gum disease, especially in the latter stages of it, have a higher incidence of some diseases, making the impact far great than just your oral health.

Even though it may be tempting to collapse into bed on some nights when you’re exhausted, you’ll be healthier if you take the few minutes necessary for your oral hygiene regimen.

How Does Gum Disease Develop?

The primary cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. This may be due to an inadequate routine, such as flossing but not brushing, or it may be due to an insufficient quantity of brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush and floss a minimum of two times each day. You should brush for two minutes each time, floss, and use an antibacterial mouthwash. Your toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash should all carry the American Dental Association seal of approval. A lack of brushing, flossing, or using mouthwash can contribute to the onset of gum disease, so remain dedicated to your oral hygiene regimen.

Almost 75 percent of American adults have gum disease, and approximately 60 percent of them are unaware of the fact because gum disease can present without symptoms. Many don’t realize the importance of properly maintaining their gum health and so ignore the symptoms. About 30 percent have a genetic predisposition to developing gum disease, but this condition needs to be diagnosed by a dentist. Those who are genetically predisposed to gum disease need to be especially dedicated to maintaining their oral hygiene. More than half of older teens – those older than 14 – have untreated gum disease that may cause them severe problems in their adult years. If your teen has gum disease, don’t ignore it.

What Symptoms of Gum Disease Should I Look Out For?

Although periodontal disease is most often the result of improper oral hygiene, some conditions can exacerbate matters and trigger the onset of gingivitis. You may have no symptoms, or they may be so mild that they’re virtually not noticeable, but if you notice bleeding during or after brushing and flossing, then you may be developing gingivitis. If your gums are swollen or sensitive or inflamed, then you may be developing gum disease. Particularly if these symptoms occur in combination, you should make an appointment with your Florida dentist. When treated at an early stage, gingivitis can be cured, and any damage can be reversed, so don’t wait until the disease escalates. Other symptoms include a persistent bad taste in your mouth, a receding gum line, pockets or irregular spaces between the teeth, changes in your bite, or loosened teeth.

Conditions that can hasten the onset of gum disease include:

  • A poor diet: A poor diet that’s high in refined sugar and carbohydrates provides an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and proliferate.
  • Auto-immune or severe diseases such as cancer, diabetes, or HIV that lower the immune system
  • Hormone fluctuations which may increase gum sensitivity
  • Inadequate hydration
  • Prescription medications that have the side effect of dry mouth
  • Tobacco use: Using tobacco in any form is harmful to the gums. It deposits toxins that damage the gums, so the immune system is not as effective as it needs to be, and infection and inflammation are the results.

After you eat or drink, a substance known as plaque begins to form on your teeth. When not removed through brushing and flossing, the bacteria in plaque settles between your teeth and gums and starts the decay process. If it remains on your teeth, then the plaque becomes tartar, which is very hard and can only be removed by a dentist. Underneath the plaque or tartar, the bacteria are continuing to multiply and spread throughout your body.

After gingivitis develops into the first stage of periodontal disease, however, any damage is permanent, and the disease can only be prevented from becoming more serious. It can’t be cured. If you notice signs of gingivitis, then immediately make an appointment with your Florida dentist. Don’t wait until you lose your teeth and health to periodontal disease to address the situation.

What Facts Should I Know About Periodontal Disease?

There are three types of periodontal disease. You’ll need a dentist to diagnose whether you have:

  • Chronic periodontitis, which is the most common
  • Aggressive periodontitis, which usually appears in otherwise healthy people but is very fast and very destructive
  • Necrotizing periodontitis, which usually occurs in those with compromised immune systems

Leaving gingivitis untreated will ultimately destroy the ligaments that secure your teeth, your gum tissue, and your jawbone. Your facial features will become distorted, and your sole option will be painful and expensive reconstructive procedures.

What’s the Best Method for Preventing Gum Disease?

The best method for preventing gum disease is good oral hygiene, especially if you have a genetic tendency toward the disease. Maintain a daily regimen of good oral hygiene that includes brushing twice daily for two minutes at a time, flossing at least once just before bedtime, and using an antibacterial mouthwash. Schedule annual checkups and cleanings at a minimum – twice a year is better – and pay attention to minor signs and symptoms before they escalate. Maintaining good oral health can make the difference between a lifetime of beautiful smiles and better physical health or a lifetime spent attending to your physical and dental issues.

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