You may have recently seen advertising about products aimed at preventing gum disease and wondered what exactly the condition entails. If so, you’re not alone in wanting to learn more.
Gum disease is actually a form of periodontal disease that affects almost half of the adult population in the country.
In fact, it is the leading cause for patients to seek dental care since it can have serious consequences to your dental health if the chronic condition does not receive prompt and thorough professional treatment.
Most Common Signs of the Condition
Although the following conditions can also signal other dental concerns, they are the most common early signs of periodontal disease:
- Swollen gums
- Spitting blood
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
- Plaque buildup
- Tooth sensitivity
Why do these conditions need to be taken so seriously? Because they can also be the sign of other serious conditions such as diabetes.
The Link Between Blood Sugar and Gum Disease is Profound
Research indicates that people who are at risk of type 2 diabetes are also at a significantly higher risk of developing gum disease. That’s one reason that it’s so important to visit your dentist on a regular basis for annual exams and cleanings — especially if you don’t see your primary care physician for annual checkups.
During your annual dental exam, your dentist will be able to detect the early signs of periodontal disease – which in turn might be an alert of high blood sugar levels.
Some symptoms of high blood sugar that you may notice at home include the following:
- Increased thirst
- Unexplained headaches
- Difficulty concentrating
- Impaired vision
- Frequent urination
- Loss of energy or extreme fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
Why It’s So Important
In addition to the health concerns already mentioned, gum disease can also do irreversible damage to your jawbone when left untreated. This means that your jaw will no longer be able to support your teeth, and your only remaining options to be able to eat and chew will be either dentures or dental implants – both of which are far more expensive than your first line of defense: visiting your dentist at least once a year for an annual dental exam and professional teeth cleaning.