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The Smile Shop
Adam Spriggs DDS & Kate Dolin DDS

What Happens If You Don’t Treat Gum Disease?

January 8, 2021
Posted By: The Smile Shop

You can’t have healthy teeth if your gums are not healthy. Untreated gum or periodontal disease can ultimately lead to tooth loss and have serious health repercussions that affect your overall wellness.  

Gum disease is typically the result of inadequate oral hygiene that allows bacteria to collect around and under your gum line. The early stage is called gingivitis, and it is the only stage that’s reversible. 

Without prompt treatment by your Durham, NC dentist, the infection advances to periodontitis, the most advanced and aggressive stage of gum disease. One of the indicators of advanced gum disease that dentists and hygienists look for is the loss of bone and supportive tissue that hold your teeth in place. 

At this point, you may start to notice that your teeth feel loose to the touch, and without treatment, you are at serious risk of tooth loss.

Preventive Dentistry Is the Key

It’s easy to avoid this kind of worst-case scenario from occurring. Dental cleanings with a Durham hygienist every six months help prevent gingivitis from taking hold and damaging your oral health. 

If you are at increased risk for gum disease, your hygienist may recommend these cleanings three or four times a year. This may sound like a lot, but once the bone is lost, it’s gone for good. Some consider these hygiene appointments a small price to pay to ensure that your teeth stay healthy and intact!

What Happens in Your Mouth Affects Your Body

Researchers are continually learning about the close correlation between gum health and total body health and wellness. It’s clear from all the evidence that untreated gum infections also adversely affect your entire body, particularly your heart.

The reverse is also true, as systemic diseases like diabetes put you at increased risk of developing periodontal disease. There are numerous other risk factors for gum disease, including smoking, hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy or menopause, and medications that cause dry mouth.

Gum Disease Treatment in Durham, NC

Keeping your gums healthy is easy, but it requires a team effort. When you brush and floss conscientiously and follow up with routine hygiene appointments at our Durham dental office, you have the perfect recipe for a healthy smile. Call us today to schedule your next teeth cleaning.

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