The Mouth-Body Connection

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a serious dental problem that most patients have heard of. However, not everyone knows the symptoms and the risks. Here, we have a list and your options.

I’ve Heard About Gum Disease, But How Can It Affect Me?

Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, is a serious dental problem most patients have heard of. However, despite having heard of it, most patients are not aware of the symptoms. Gum disease is a simple inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, the inflammation grows worse and allows for bacteria to damage the soft tissue and bone that support a patient’s teeth. From there, a patient can lose their teeth to gum disease. Here are some of the risk factors that can cause gum disease:

  • Passed down genetically
  • Medication side-effects
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal changes
  • Smoking

Gum disease is typically caused by bacteria that have formed plaque on a patient’s teeth. Flossing and brushing help patients get rid of plaque. When plaque is not removed, it can form tartar which isn’t cleaned through brushing. Tartar can only be removed by a dental hygienist or a dentist during a professional cleaning.

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Patients don’t normally show signs of gum disease until they’re adults. However, in certain circumstances, gum disease can show up in a patient of any age. Men have a greater chance of developing gum disease than women. Gum disease is most likely to develop when plaque is allowed to build up under and along the patient’s gum line.

What Are The Symptoms of Gum Disease?

There are several signs and symptoms of gum disease. However, gum disease cannot always be detected through visual observations alone. It is crucial that you make an appointment with our office if you think that you have gum disease. Dr. Trujillo will undergo a thorough examination of your condition. If you detect any of the following symptoms, talk to Dr. Trujillo:

  • Gums that are swollen, red, bleeding, or tender.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Teeth are more sensitive than normal.
  • Pain while chewing.
  • Your teeth appear longer than they used to be or you observe that your gums have begun to recede.
  • You consistently have bad breath.

These symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem with gum disease. During your visit to our office in Phoenix, AZ, you are asked to provide your medical history. This is so we can identify any risk factors or conditions that could cause gum disease.

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So How Does Gum Disease Affect My Whole Health?

Beyond saving your teeth and gums from damage, there are several reasons to protect yourself against gum disease. Here are a few examples of the connection between your oral and overall body health.

Heart Disease

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease (heart disease). While it might not always be the case, investing in preventive dental work is a short-term plan that could have great long-term oral health dividends.

Diabetes & Blood Sugar Control

Individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections. This may explain why so many affected by diabetes also suffer from periodontal disease. This relationship with gum disease goes both ways, as research shows that those with periodontal disease may find it more difficult to control their blood sugar. Severe gum disease has the chance to increase blood sugar, which puts individuals with diabetes at an increased risk for diabetic complications.

Potential Pregnancy Problems

Unexpected oral health issues could arise in pregnant women due to hormone changes during pregnancy. The increase in progesterone and estrogen can greatly affect the way gum tissue reacts to plaque. This makes it even more vital for expecting mothers to maintain good oral hygiene throughout their pregnancy. If you are expecting, or have plans to be pregnant in the near future, it’s important to schedule an appointment to map out a dental plan for the rest of your pregnancy.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

If you suspect that you have gum disease or you are displaying symptoms of gum disease, seek out treatment immediately. Gum disease symptoms can be reversed if detected and treated early. If you have any questions regarding gum disease for the Arizona Periodontal Group, please contact us. You may also call or schedule an appointment.