Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a progressive oral health condition that can have serious consequences. Unfortunately, gum disease is a common problem that not only affects nearly half of Americans, but is the 11 th most prevalent disease in the world .
Beginning with symptoms such as red, swollen gums, what happens if you don’t treat your gum disease? Here are the harmful consequences of avoiding treatment for periodontal disease.
Bleeding and Painful Gums
Although the early stages of gum disease aren’t always noticeable, eventually, most people see blood when brushing their teeth. This is usually a result of swollen gum tissue which has been affected by bacteria.
Your gums may also be tender or painful to the touch in addition to having a red color—normal, healthy gum tissue is firm and pink. If you have early signs of gum disease but neglect to follow up with treatment, your gums may being to bleed and hurt.
Gum Recession and Sensitive Teeth
If your gum disease progresses, the gum tissue will actually begin to pull back from your teeth. You may notice your teeth are looking a little longer than usual or your teeth are more sensitive.
When the periodontal tissue recedes, it exposes part of your tooth’s roots. While normally temperature wouldn’t bother your teeth, the exposure of these roots can make your teeth extremely sensitive to temperature .
Tooth roots may look brown or yellowish in appearance near the gumline. If you’re seeing this sign and experiencing sensitive teeth, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Infection and Loose Teeth
Gum disease can cause pockets of infection to form at the gumline. If left untreated, this infection can attack the ligaments, or connective tissue, and can cause the teeth to become loose.
If this infection is left to progress and the connective tissue damaged, your teeth may fit differently in your mouth or may visibly move back and forth. At this point, the gum disease would be difficult to reverse but it can still be treated!
Eventually, gum disease can cause the teeth in the mouth to become so loose that they simply fall out . Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in older adults. Once your teeth are gone, you’ll need to talk to your dentist about replacing them in order to restore your smile.
Are You Seeing Signs of Gum Disease?
If your gums are showing signs of gum disease, don’t delay in seeking treatment. When caught early, gum disease can be reversed with treatment from your dentist, but the condition will get progressively harder to treat as it advances and affects more and more of your smile. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to talk about gum health today!