Your dental care isn’t only about your teeth. Your gums also play a key role in not only the health of your mouth but also the health of your body. At our dental office in Hagerstown, we care for your entire mouth and are always on the lookout for gum disease. Gum disease is a serious infection that can lead to concerns with your overall health and, of course, your oral health.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection within the gum tissue. You may have heard gum disease referred to as periodontal disease, gingivitis, or periodontitis. While these are all gum disease, they do not all mean the same thing.
- Periodontal disease – Periodontal disease is the technical name for gum disease. While there are different stages of gum disease, the term periodontal disease essentially refers to gum disease in general.
- Gingivitis – Gingivitis is the term used for early-stage periodontal disease. During this time, you may not be able to recognize the symptoms. In that case, your gum disease may go untreated and get progressively worse. If that happens, your gums are harder to treat, and your teeth and overall health can be at serious risk.
- Periodontitis – Periodontitis is used to describe gum disease that has progressed into a more severe stage. This happens when bacteria spreads below the gum line. Your gums may become irritated or inflamed and can cause the gum tissue to weaken. This can cause loose teeth or even the loss of one or more teeth.
How Does Gum Disease Affect the Body?
The bacteria in gum disease can cause various health issues throughout the body. Numerous studies have shown that gum disease has been linked to serious medical conditions and diseases including:
- Lung Disease
- Heart Attacks
Early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease can help keep your body protected from these serious health concerns. This is one reason you should see your dentist in Hagerstown regularly.
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
- Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Receding gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
If you’ve noticed any signs of gum disease if you’re due for a dental checkup, we welcome you to call our Hagerstown dental office as soon as possible. We’re here to keep your mouth, and your body, healthy.