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9 Complications Caused by Gum Disease

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31st Jan 2023

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a severe oral health condition that impacts the gums and the bones that support the teeth. It is caused by an accumulation of plaque and bacteria on the teeth and gums, and if left untreated, it can lead to a number of health issues.

It is essential to emphasize that these issues may be avoided and managed by practicing good oral hygiene and getting routine dental exams. Brushing and flossing regularly and seeing the dentist for regular cleanings and exams can help prevent plaque and bacteria accumulation, which causes gum disease. 

If gum disease has already developed, a visit to the dentist can help detect the problem and get gum disease treatment to avoid additional damage. Here is a list of nine complications caused by gum disease that you should know about.

1. Tooth loss

Tooth loss is one of the most severe outcomes of untreated gum disease. When the condition proceeds, the gums and bones that support the teeth become weakened, causing the teeth to become loose and unstable. The supporting tissue and bone that maintains teeth in place can be damaged in the late stages of gum disease. As a result, teeth may begin to shift loosen, or even fall out.

2. Gum recession

Gum disease can cause gums to recede, exposing more of the tooth's base. This might give the appearance of longer teeth that are more sensitive to hot and cold conditions. Furthermore, receding gums might accelerate tooth decay because the root surface is more sensitive to plaque and germs.

3. Bone loss

Gum disease can cause bone loss in the jaw, causing a change in the form of the face and making it difficult to chew or talk effectively. This bone loss can also make installing dental implants or other types of tooth replacement more difficult.

4. Abscesses 

Gum disease can cause abscesses, which are pus-filled pockets that occur in the gums. They can be unbearably painful, resulting in fever and swelling. If left untreated, they can cause major infections to spread throughout the body.

5. Cardiovascular disease

According to research, there may be a relationship between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. People who have gum disease are more likely to get heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular disorders. This is due to the fact that bacteria and inflammation caused by gum disease can enter the circulation and contribute to the development of plaques in blood vessels.

6. Respiratory disease

Respiratory issues, including pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, have also been related to gum disease. Bacteria from the oral cavity can enter and infect the lungs. This is especially risky for people with compromised immune systems or pre-existing respiratory disorders.

7. Diabetes complications

Diabetes patients are more likely to develop gum disease. People who have diabetes with gum disease have a more difficult time recovering from accidents, and the inflammation associated with gum disease can make diabetes management more difficult.

8. Pregnancy complications

Pregnant women who have gum disease are more likely to develop gestational diabetes and premature delivery. The hormones released during pregnancy can make the gums more sensitive, making plaque and bacteria thrive. This increases your risk of gum disease and other complications.

9. Psychological issues

Gum disease may also be detrimental to mental health. Gum disease can trigger anxiety, depression, and a decline in general quality of life due to the discomfort and self-consciousness it causes. People suffering from gum disease may also feel social isolation and trouble finding and maintaining work.

The bottom line

Gum disease is a major oral health problem that, if left untreated, can lead to a variety of consequences. They include abscesses, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetic issues, pregnancy complications, tooth loss, receding gums, and bone loss. Maintaining proper oral hygiene and seeing the dentist for regular examinations are essential for protecting your oral health and preventing the complications of gum disease.