A Dentist in Cape May Explains the Risks of Gum Disease

Close-up of gums.

Did you know over 80% of the American adult population is affected by gum disease at some point in their lives? Gum disease, an infection of the gums usually caused by poor oral hygiene, is the leading cause of tooth loss. But did you know it can actually affect your overall health in addition to your oral health? Keep reading to learn some of the risks associated with gum disease from a trusted dentist in Cape May.

What is Gum Disease?

Just like your skin protects your bones and organs, your gums protect your teeth and the structures that keep them stable. Gum disease, known by its more technical name as periodontal disease, starts when plaque gets inside of the area between your gums and teeth.

The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, usually causes your gums to become red, swollen, or bleeding. This stage can be reversed by proper oral healthcare like daily brushing and flossing. However, if left untreated, the gingivitis will turn into periodontitis, which cannot be reversed.

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

To stay on top of the health of your gums, check out some of the most common signs of gum disease below:

  • Swollen, red, or puffy gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Constant bad breath
  • Pain when chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Teeth that appear longer

If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist to get the help you need. Treatment could be as easy as professional cleaning twice a year, mixed with a good at-home oral hygiene routine. Or, for more severe forms of the disease, you may need periodontal therapy. Either way, talk to your dentist sooner than later if you notice any of the above signs.

How Does Gum Disease Affect Your Overall health?

Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss, which is not only unsightly, but it can cause your jawbone to deteriorate. However, risks of gum disease don’t stop at the mouth. Gum disease has been linked to cause an increased risk in health problems like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pre-mature births.

Conversely, your risk of gum disease goes up if you already suffer from diabetes or a high risk of stroke and heart disease. Your chances of getting this disease dramatically go up with the use of tobacco products and lack of oral health care. Tobacco also makes it harder for your gums to heal once they are damaged.

Be sure to watch out for the early signs of gum disease mentioned above, so you can catch it while it’s still reversible. Contact your dentist to keep your gums healthy, while taking care of your overall health at the same time!

Meet the Dentist

Dr. Scott Maslow has been providing his patients with quality care for over 30 years. He enjoys educating his patients in Wildwood Crest, which is why he wants you to know the importance of gum health. He currently practices at Diamond Beach Dental, and he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (609) 522-3145 for any questions.

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