Initial symptoms of gum disease include red and swollen gum tissue that bleeds when brushed. At this stage, gum disease can often be treated through professional cleanings and more a more diligent daily oral hygiene routine. Allowed to progress however, and treatment options become much more involved.
Advanced Gum Disease
Allowed to progress, gum disease will eventually show more advanced symptoms such as:
- A chronic bad taste in the mouth
- Bad breath that does not respond to brushing
- Receding gum line
- Loose and shifting teeth
- Pus in between teeth
- Changes in tooth color
- Tooth loss
When these symptoms are ignored, even larger oral health problems, including bone necrosis in the jaw, may occur. To prevent these problems, it is best to contact our Oklahoma City dentist at the first signs of gum disease.
Systemic Health Problems
When left untreated, the bacteria from infected gums can enter the bloodstream and increase risks for a number of serious and potentially deadly diseases. Linked to cancer of the pancreas, breasts, esophagus, and lungs, gum disease is also a known risk factor for:
- Heart attack and stroke
- Liver and kidney failure
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Complications with diabetes
- Low birth weight and premature birth
Gum disease is more common in smokers whose existing health problems brought about by tobacco use can exacerbate and accelerate risks posed by bacterial infection of gum tissue.
Preventing Gum Disease
The easiest way to prevent gum disease is through a consistent oral hygiene routine complete with brushing after every meal and snack, and flossing twice a day. Adding to this daily routine biannual cleanings and examinations at our Oklahoma City office can help protect your teeth and gums from all manner of oral health problems, and work to ensure a healthy and attractive smile for years to come.