What You Don’t Know Can Kill You: The Unseen Dangers of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a condition that affects hundreds of millions of people around the world each year. The American Academy of Periodontology believes that as many as 75 percent of Americans suffer from the condition in one form or another. It can range in severity from mild gingivitis to severe periodontal disease. The problem is so widespread because many patients are unaware that they have gingivitis, because the infection it causes may cause only small problems. However, research suggests that affected patients could still be facing severe complications from their untreated condition.

Deadly Connections

Recent studies indicate that there is a direct link to many of the deadliest diseases commonly afflicting Americans on an annual basis. This includes heart disease, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. The scientists involved in the studies believe that the link between these systemic diseases and gum disease lies in widespread inflammation.

When the gums become infected and inflamed with gingivitis, it causes inflammation in the mouth. Pockets of bacteria known as periodontal pockets, begin to form along the gum line at the base of the teeth. Even if these pockets are minor, they are still essentially open wounds that are unable to heal without treatment. Bacteria may be able to enter the bloodstream from these wounds and travel through the body, where they land in the heart, lungs, pancreas and other areas and create a new infection, which then causes disease. Although the entire process is not well understood, scientists now believe that the link between these diseases and even mild forms of periodontal disease is clear and indisputable.

Ignoring the Signs

Part of the problem with gum disease in Bradenton, FL, is that certain signs of gingivitis are often seen as normal when they are not, simply because they are so common. The following are symptoms that should never be ignored:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums that are tender to the touch
  • Redness and swelling

Schedule an Appointment Today

Fortunately, gum disease can be treated easily in its early stages. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Eastman to increase your chances of avoiding these deadly diseases.


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