What Are The Consequences Of Untreated Gum Disease?

When gum disease is just starting, it's easy to ignore the symptoms. A little blood in the sink, some gum soreness and redness – these issues don't really seem too alarming. But while early-stage gum disease may seem minor, later-stage gum disease can have some serious consequences. Make sure you seek treatment for your dentist at the first sign of gum disease, or else you may end up suffering these consequences:

Deep pockets in the gums.

Gum disease is an infection. As the bacteria that cause it proliferate, they cause more and more damage to your gum tissue. Eventually, the tissue may become so weak that it separates from your teeth, forming pockets between the teeth and gums. Not only is this unsightly, but it makes it much harder to then treat the gum disease, since the bacteria are easily trapped in the pockets. In order to treat gum disease at this stage, your dentist will need to perform a procedure called flap-reduction surgery in which the extra tissue is removed and the flaps are sewn shut. This is a lot more extensive that the treatments for early gum disease: tooth cleaning and maybe some antibiotics.

Loose and lost teeth.

The bacteria that cause gum disease can eventually work their way into the ligaments that hold your teeth into your jaw bone. When this happens, your teeth start to wiggle around. Eventually, you might lose them entirely. Then, you'll need dental implants or bridges to replace your missing teeth – and this may not even be an option if you're not able to restore your gums to good health.

An increased risk of heart disease.

At first, it sounds like an unlikely association, but studies have essentially proven that it exists. Ongoing gum disease increases your risk of heart disease. According to the predominant theory, the bacteria that cause gum disease can work their way into your arteries, where they encourage fatty deposits to form. Fatty deposits in the arteries can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Thus, if you're suffering from gum disease, it's important to take care of it promptly – your heart depends on it.

If you're noticing a little pink in the sink, start brushing more thoroughly and using mouthwash twice a day. Also, contact your dentist and make an appointment. He or she will make sure your gum disease is taken care of before you develop pockets, loose teeth, or heart disease.

For more information, talk to professionals like  Kappenman Family Dental.