Think you know all there is to know about gum disease? Well, there are quite a few little-known facts that you should be aware of so you can take the right steps towards keeping those gums clean and healthy.

Want to know just how important gum health really is, and how scary gum disease could be? Read on!

Gum Disease Could Cause Tooth Loss

If you thought that gum disease only affected the gums, you might be surprised to learn that it could result in the loss of your teeth as well.

Adults of all ages should know they could lose their teeth because of periodontitis, a.k.a. gum disease. Taking steps to ensure your gums are strong from a young age is important when it comes to maintaining the strength of your teeth as you get older.

You could help reduce the odds of gum disease wreaking havoc on your pearly whites by brushing and flossing every day and seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups. Your dental hygienist and dentist will be equipped to look out for signs of gum disease that could make your teeth loose enough to fall out.

Basically, once gum disease has been diagnosed, it’s important to receive the appropriate treatments, as leaving it untreated might result in losing your teeth—and nobody wants that!

It Could Affect Your Unborn Baby

Studies have found that there may be a link between a pregnant woman’s oral health and the health of her unborn baby.

Pregnant women who have been diagnosed with gum disease, in particular, might have an increased risk of delivering premature babies. On top of that, a pregnant woman suffering from gum disease might give birth to baby with a lower than normal weight. Both premature birth and low birth weight are factors that may result in other health problems for your child.

Seeing your dentist while you’re pregnant is recommended. You could have all your questions answered, and the earliest signs of gingivitis could be caught before gum ailments cause other problems.

Genetics Might Play a Role

Your oral hygiene routine plays a role in whether you end up with gum disease, but genetics is also considered a risk factor.

Researchers have found that, for some people, brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings might not be enough if they’re susceptible to periodontitis thanks to their genes. If your family has a history of gum disease, be on the lookout, and consider following a strict oral hygiene routine that, combined with support from your dentist, might help boost your defenses.  

Symptoms Aren’t Always Obvious

It’s believed that many people have gum disease without even realizing it, especially if you aren’t seeing your dentist often enough.

You can find and treat the problem before it gets serious if you know what to look for, so take note if you notice:

  • Red, swollen gums:  That’s one of the first signs your gums need attention.  They may also feel tender or painful and bleed easily when you floss or brush.
  • Bad breath:  Your breath usually doesn’t change much if you’ve got gingivitis, but it can be a symptom of gum disease.
  • Gums gets smaller:  If your teeth look longer than they used to, chances are your gums are shrinking.  This pulling away is called receding gums.
  • Sensitive teeth:  If a sip of a cold drink makes you wince, your teeth may be telling you something. 
  • Wiggly or shifting teeth:  Gum disease can attack the bones that hold your teeth in place, making them loose or move.  Periodontitis is the main cause and it can even change the way your teeth fit together when you bite.

It May Be Associated with Other Health Problems

Gum disease is terrible enough on its own, but did you know that researchers have found that it might also be linked to a range of other diseases?

Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and even heart disease have been associated with periodontal disease, perhaps because of damaging inflammation. So, by keeping your gums clean and free of disease, you may also be taking an additional step in helping other parts of your body stay healthy.

If you think you have gum disease, click to contact the Havrilla Center for Periodontics & Dental Implants now.