The medical term for gum disease is periodontal disease. This disease is an inflammatory bacterial infection that affects an estimated 47% of people over 30 years of age. The cause of periodontal disease is hardened tartar located at the gum line. Tobacco use and some medical conditions are known to accelerate this disease. Its early stages are pain-free, and because of this, often go undetected.
The early stages of periodontal disease are known as gingivitis and will cause symptoms of bad breath and red or inflamed gums that bleed when brushed or flossed. At this stage, the disease can be reversed through improving or implementing a daily oral health care routine and also scheduling regular dental cleanings.
Unchecked gingivitis develops into periodontitis. At this stage, the infection spreads into the gum tissue and pulls it away from your teeth. The openings this creates between the gums and your teeth is a perfect spot for other bacteria to form. Periodontitis can also cause you to lose bone structure as well as teeth.
Medical research shows that the strain of the systemic inflammation periodontitis puts on the immune system can lead to other health issues such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, some forms of cancer, and diabetes to develop.
If you are concerned that you may have periodontal disease, call us at Scott M. Healey Dentistry in Lindon, Utah to schedule a consultation with Dr. Scott Healey. Our phone number is 801.653.0099.