Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a persistent bacterial infection surrounding one tooth or several teeth. Nearly 80 percent of the U.S. population has some form of gum disease without even realizing it.
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* the risks of gum disease
Gum disease causes little discomfort and produces few obvious symptoms in the early stages. When periodontal disease is not treated, it spreads and compromises the teeth and gums.
Gums irritated by bacteria recede from the teeth, resulting in deep pockets where more bacteria can hide and multiply. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria and significantly increases the risk of developing cavities and other infections in your mouth.
Left untreated, gum disease can travel through your bloodstream and cause infection in other parts of your body. Periodontal disease has been linked to severe conditions such as cardiovascular disease and endocarditis.
As a defense mechanism, your immune system will go into overdrive to prevent infection. Unfortunately, your body can’t differentiate which parts of the mouth to fight and will attack your bone, as well. As the bone deteriorates, it will no longer be able to support your tooth, causing your teeth to fall out.