Is Gum Disease Serious?

Yes, gum disease is a serious problem for many people.  Did you know that 8 out of 10 adults in the U.S. have some form of gum disease? Gum disease is the body’s response to a bacterial infection in your gum tissue. Common symptoms of oral bacterial infections in the gum tissue include:

Healthy vs. Diseased - Gum Disease Diagram

  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
  • Receding gums (teeth appear longer)
  • Obvious plaque, tartar or calculus
  • Spaces developing between your teeth
  • Swollen, red or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Teeth are loose or mobile

Former Surgeon General, David Satcher, referred to gum disease as “the silent epidemic”. Research has established associations between oral bacteria and several serious systemic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, Respiratory Disease, Blood Clots, Strokes, Preterm and Low Birth Weight Babies, Chronic Inflammation.

The theories linking oral bacteria to other diseases explain that the mouth may be a portal for bacteria to spread to the rest of your body.

If you have been diagnosed with gum disease for example, pathogenic bacteria are likely forming colonies that cause localized inflammation and damage in your gum tissue. Those bacteria may enter the blood stream through small ulcers in your gum tissue. Gum disease is serious and can cause all kinds of problems.

The growth of bacteria in periodontal pockets occurs in three stages. After the first stage of attachment, the bacteria form a colony with a filmy or slimy protective covering. The most advanced stage of bacterial growth involves clumps of bacteria detaching from the colony to form new infections. Serious gum disease is a major problem.

The bacterial infection spreads when small clumps of bacteria detach in a “seeding” effect to form new infections. Left unchecked, bacteria growing in the protective colonies in periodontal pockets can lead to the destruction of teeth and eventually the bone supporting the teeth. Because the bacteria may spread through your body to threaten more than your teeth and gums, it is important to talk to your doctor about your risk factors and treat any infected areas of your mouth.

Regular dental visits with Dr. Griffin will help you avoid gum disease and its associated risks. Dr. Griffin regularly prescribes the PerioProtect home-care system for patients suffering with gum disease. Feel free to ask us for more information!  Just “Ask Dr. Griffin” on this page.  You can also visit the PerioProtect website.  

JUNE 2013 SPECIAL – 50% OFF ALL PERIOPROTECT GEL AND CUSTOM TRAYS!!  (Offer good from June 1-30, 2013.  Call during the month of June and schedule your appointment.  If PerioProtect is prescribed for you at that appointment, you may take advantage of this great offer).