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4 Dangers of Leaving Periodontal Disease Untreated

March 18, 2024
4 Dangers of Leaving Periodontal Disease Untreated

Periodontal disease, better known as gum disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums. It is caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth that hardens into calculus and works its way under the gum tissue. The longer it remains, the greater the chance of developing periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that will gradually worsen without treatment. It is important to seek treatment at the first signs and symptoms: 

  • Red, inflamed gum tissue
  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Moving teeth
  • Bad Breath

If periodontal disease is not addressed there are some serious problems that can develop, a lot of which are irreversible. Here are the top 4 dangers of leaving periodontal disease untreated. 

  1. Receding Gums.

The first type of permanent damage that can result from periodontal disease is receding gums. As the infection of the gum tissue spreads, the gum tissue gradually starts to pull away from the teeth. Not only does this leave the teeth inadequately supported and looking long, the exposed portion of the tooth root may be sensitive and has a higher risk of decay. The lost gum tissue will not grow back on its own; it can only be replaced by gum grafting. 

  1. Damage to the Jaw Bone. 

The longer gum disease goes untreated, the more damage will occur. Gum disease eventually causes the jaw bone to deteriorate, which results in lack of support for the teeth and potential loss of facial shape and structure. The lost bone tissue will not regenerate automatically without treatment, such as bone grafting. 

  1. Loose Teeth. 

Loss of gum and bone tissue will eventually result in loose teeth. The teeth may even fall out due to lack of support. Replacing these lost teeth is a challenge due to the extensive damage to the support structures. Missing teeth can only be replaced with bridges, dentures, and dental implants, and only after gum disease is treated and under control. 

  1. Bad Breath

Gum disease is caused by the same bacteria that cause Halitosis otherwise known as bad breath. The bacteria that cause disease release volatile sulfa compounds when they break down food products which can cause the breath to smell and have a rotten odor. By treating gum disease you remove these bacteria and can fix bad breath issues. 

Treatment for Periodontal Disease 

Gum disease may be treated with a few different procedures: 

  • Scaling and root planing. Scaling is the process of removing plaque and calculus from the teeth and roots. It is essentially a deep cleaning of your teeth. Root planing is the process of smoothing out the surface of the roots so that the gum tissue can reattach more firmly, eliminating spaces for plaque to gather. These procedures are typically performed in tandem.  
  • Surgical periodontal procedures. Severe gum disease that results in damage may need to be treated surgically in order to remove damaged tissue and regeneratelost tissue. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Periodontal Disease

How can I prevent periodontal disease? 

The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to practice good oral hygiene habits at home. Brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes and floss once a day. Try to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet, which feeds plaque and encourages the development of calculus. 

How can I keep periodontal disease from recurring? 

The same oral hygiene habits are important to keep gum disease from coming back, but additional treatment may be necessary. Periodontal maintenance includes deep cleaning appointments on a regular schedule to manage the infection.

Seek Treatment Today 

If you have any signs or symptoms of gum disease, don’t wait to seek treatment. The sooner the infection is treated, the sooner you can stop the damage and begin healing. Scott H. Froum DDS, PC provides periodontal maintenance and other procedures for the treatment and prevention of gum disease. 

Call 212-751-8530 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 

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