Research from Centers for Disease Control reveals that half of the American adults suffer some forms of gum disease. Unfortunately, gum disease is often un-diagnosed or overlooked even by your general dentists. Usual symptoms of gum disease include red and bleeding gums, receding gums, bad breath, loosening and shifting of teeth over time. However, gum disease usually does not cause pain until considerable destruction of jawbone around teeth has occurred. Gum disease should be treated as soon as possible because gum disease is more difficult to treat when extensive amount of destruction of gums and jawbone around teeth has happened.
In gum disease, the gums around teeth are challenged by hundreds of different bacterial species that constantly proliferate and eventually lead to destruction of gums and jawbone around teeth. Gum disease can be compared to a cut on your arm that never heals and is constantly loaded with bacteria that keep on growing, thereby infecting other parts of your body. As such, is it of no surprise that there is a strong association between the health of your gums and the overall health of your body. Numerous studies have concluded that individuals with gum disease are at increased risks for diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other systemic diseases. Treatment of gum disease leads to better diabetic control and reduction in heart-related diseases.
Several factors can predispose an individual to gum disease or worsen an individual’s existing gum disease. These factors include poor oral hygiene, use of tobacco, uncontrolled diabetes, genetics, hormonal changes, tooth clenching/grinding, stress, and certain medications. It is therefore important that these factors be addressed as part of the periodontal therapy. For example, patients with gum disease ought to brush and floss adequately to keep good oral hygiene to ensure best possible treatment outcome.