You may not be worried about gums that occasionally bleed when you floss, but if this occurs routinely, and your gums also appear red and swollen, it’s time to seek an evaluation. Tender gums that bleed easily and often may be a sign that you have gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Our board-certified periodontist, Dr. Lauren Anderson, encourages you to schedule a consultation if you’re experiencing symptoms to avoid common health risks associated with untreated gum disease.
Why Is Gum Disease Dangerous?
Gum (periodontal) disease is caused by bacteria that accumulate beneath the gum line and the periodontal pockets surrounding teeth. The resulting gum inflammation and infection can lead to receding gums, destruction of vital bone, loose teeth, and tooth loss. Most concerning is the link between advanced gum disease and other chronic diseases: systemic inflammation.
Scientific evidence increasingly points to the relationship between the chronic inflammation of periodontal disease and the aggravation of underlying conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Untreated gum disease not only destroys your oral structures—it can have a significant and dangerous impact on your body, too.
Gum Disease and Diabetes
Patients with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease, most likely due to their susceptibility to infection. Similarly, the presence of gum disease can make it more difficult to control blood sugar and can lead to diabetic complications.
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
The presence of gum disease nearly doubles an individual’s risk for heart disease and puts them at a significantly greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Some research has shown oral bacteria can travel throughout the body and cause inflammation of the heart’s blood vessels, which may lead to a sudden cardiovascular event.
Gum Disease and Arthritis
Both gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis are inflammatory conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own joints and tissues, causing painful swelling and inflammation. Certain evidence points to the possibility of the immune system being further stimulated by chronic oral inflammation.
How Our Periodontist Can Reduce Your Risk
With specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease, our board-certified periodontist, Dr. Lauren Anderson, is considered a gum disease expert and an ideal choice for your treatment. Along with providing targeted procedures, including laser therapy, she can also triage for medical consultation, so you receive comprehensive treatment of oral and systemic inflammation. She will work closely with your primary care doctor to help get your gum disease under control and reduce your risk for systemic complications.
Have Symptoms? Don’t Wait to Schedule!
Early detection and treatment of gum disease are critical for your long-term oral and physical health. If you have tender, bleeding gums that are starting to pull away from your teeth, contact Anderson Periodontal Wellness for an evaluation with Dr. Anderson. Schedule online or call our Bloomfield Hills, MI office at (248) 480-4910 today!