Periodontal disease, or gum disease, most notably affects your soft gum tissues (hence, the name). As such, the disease can lead to catastrophic erosion and damage to your gums if it isn’t treated and managed properly. However, the potential hazards of periodontal disease are not limited to just your gum tissues, and ignoring the condition could lead to much more significant consequences than you might realize at first. By seeking treatment at our Encinitas/San Diego periodontal office, you can learn more about those potential consequences, as well as how to protect your oral and overall health from them.
Your jawbone’s health and integrity
Along with the roots of your teeth, your gums cover and protect your dental ridges, as well. When gum disease becomes severe (a condition known as periodontitis), the inflammation and erosion of your periodontal tissues can begin to affect your jawbone, causing it to lose mass and strength. As the foundation of your smile, your jawbone is essential to everything from anchoring your teeth in place to ensuring that your jaw joints and other components of your bite function properly. The progression of severe gum disease and its impact on your jawbone health can set the stage for increasingly worse oral health issues.
Your risks of losing teeth
Because of the erosion it causes your gum tissues and jawbone structure – both of which are essential to supporting your teeth – severe gum disease is also the leading cause of adult tooth loss. For many patients, the early symptoms of gum disease are not glaringly obvious or painful, though they’re highly noticeable if you remain vigilant about cleaning and monitoring your gums. Therefore, by the time they seek treatment, many patients have experienced enough damage to their gums and jawbone that one or more teeth have lost significant support.
Your risk factors for chronic disease
If you successfully treat and manage severe gum disease in time, you may able to avoid losing or more teeth to it. However, besides tooth loss, hesitating to treat gum disease can also lead to an increased risk of other chronic diseases and health conditions. This is due largely to the rampant inflammation associated with gum disease, which is the result of molecules produced by certain oral bacteria (i.e., Porphyromonas gingivalis). Unchecked inflammation is also a high-risk factor in chronic systemic issues, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and ignoring gum inflammation can heighten those risk factors.
Prevent or control the impacts of gum disease
Neglecting gum disease can have highly negative impacts on much more than just your gums. To learn more about how to avoid those impacts, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kania by calling her periodontal office in Encinitas/San Diego, CA, at (760) 642-0711.