Gum disease can have serious consequences for our oral health. In its early stage, known as gingivitis, it can cause the gums to become swollen and bleed. The more serious form, periodontitis, can inflict so much damage that the gums actually pull away from the teeth, causing them to loosen or fall out. For these reasons alone, a rigorous oral hygiene regimen and a visit to our periodontist at Russell D. Hatfield, DDS, MS, Ltd are in order.
But the effects of gum disease extend way beyond the mouth. A range of other health conditions have been linked to inflammation of the gums. The bacteria produced by periodontitis can make its way into the bloodstream and into other organs, potentially increasing the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and pneumonia. Links between the inflammation triggered by gum disease and dementia have also been discovered.
Nearly half of those aged 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet it's sometimes referred to as a “silent” disease because many people aren’t even aware they have it because it’s not painful until it's reached an advanced stage.
Our periodontist wants you to be aware of the telltale signs of gum disease before it progresses into something serious. Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away; red, swollen or bleeding gums; sensitivity or pain when chewing; teeth that have become loose or don’t fit together correctly when you bite down; and gums that have visibly pulled away from your teeth, are all signs you may have periodontal disease.
Our periodontist at Russell D. Hatfield, DDS, MS, Ltd specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of gum disease. Early recognition and treatment are key to protecting your oral health and ensuring that the condition does not spread. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.