What are The Consequences of Untreated Periodontal Disease?

Gum disease can be insidious, with symptoms you don’t even notice at first. Without treatment, its symptoms can gradually worsen to the point that not only does your dental health suffer, but you can experience complications of other types as well. 

At Lakeside Family Dental in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, our skillful team specializes in diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, including periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. Read on to learn more about periodontitis and how it may be linked with your overall health.

Periodontitis symptoms

Gum disease starts in a milder form known as gingivitis. At this stage, plaque buildup causes inflammation in your gums. If that plaque stays in place, it can harden into tartar over time. This harder substance contains high amounts of harmful bacteria and requires removal with special dental tools. When you have gingivitis, you may notice that your gums bleed a bit when you floss or brush your teeth.

If gingivitis remains untreated, it can escalate into periodontitis. Symptoms of this type of gum disease may include:

Periodontitis complications

Periodontitis can lead to a range of issues on top of its bothersome symptoms. Your teeth can grow loose, for example, or even fall out. You can also develop deeper infections that spread to other parts of your mouth or body. 

Additional health that can stem from periodontitis include:

Research also indicates potential links between periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis, certain forms of cancer, premature births, and low birth weights. 

Periodontitis prevention and treatment 

Like many health concerns, the earlier you’re diagnosed with gum disease, the easier it is to treat. Take measures to address gingivitis, such as scheduling routine dental exams and practicing positive dental hygiene by brushing and flossing well. You’ll be less likely to develop severe stages of gum disease. Once you have periodontitis, treatment may include:

Once you’re diagnosed with periodontitis, you may also want to see your primary care physician to determine whether you have any complications beyond your oral health. In many cases, addressing periodontitis early can improve overall health and a far lower risk for related complications.

To learn more about periodontitis or find out if you’re showing signs of periodontitis, call Lakeside Family Dental at 508-203-4145.

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