Untreated Gum Disease: The Risks To Your Health

At Eastport Dental, you are more than a patient, you are family. We strive to provide our patients with the highest quality care possible using the latest technology advances. As a premier provider of general, cosmetic and implant dentistry, your oral health is our top priority. But did you know that your oral health is directly related to your overall health?

Studies have shown that certain diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, have been liked to poor oral health. For this reason, Dr. Huynyh, DMD of Mesa, AZ treats your individual needs in a comprehensive manner, taking special interest in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. At Eastport Dental, we want you to be the healthiest version of yourself!

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a condition that attacks the bone and gingival tissue surrounding the teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and have significant effect on your overall health (more than you probably knew.)

Gum disease occurs when bacteria and plaque are left behind after brushing and flossing. When not completely removed, bacteria and plaque begin to calcify on tooth surfaces and below the gum line. This calcified bacteria is known as tartar buildup and will begin to irritate the gum tissue and cause inflammation. Over time, inflammation of the gum tissue worsens and causes your gum tissue to create deep pockets in the tissue surrounding the teeth. These pockets create the perfect breeding ground for more bacteria and more inflammation.


Eventually, gingival inflammation turns into an infection that begins to resorb the bone tissue that holds the teeth in place. If left untreated, bone tissue is permanently destroyed and your teeth will eventually become loose. Unfortunately, the bone won’t grow back, either.

Not only does the infection of gum disease have negative effects on precious bone tissue, it also negatively impacts your overall health. The bacterial infection in your gum and bone tissue travels throughout your cardiovascular system which can cause other health issues to arise or become worse. From your heart and lungs to your blood sugar and reproductive system, multiple health issues have been directly tied to periodontal disease through numerous research studies.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Similar to other diseases of the body, gum disease is a relatively painless condition. As tartar buildup and bacteria accumulate under the gum tissue you may notice slight swelling or redness of the tissue. Bad breath is a common symptom but you may not notice that yourself. Additionally, you may experience bleeding gums when you brush or floss.

Over time, as the inflammation of your gum tissue reaches the bone tissue, initial symptoms may worsen but the deterioration of bone tissue is asymptomatic. Similar to other serious conditions of the body, you may be in advanced stages of gum disease and not experience any pain. Sore teeth and gums may be the most noticeable.

How Is Gum Disease Related To Your Overall Health

Studies have proven that the same bacteria that is present around diseased teeth is the same bacteria that is found in the arteries of patients with cardiovascular disease. Periodontal disease greatly increases your risk for experiencing a stroke or heart attack, as the bacteria can lodge themselves inside of arterial walls, the brain, and heart.

Diabetes has also been proven to have a direct link to the presence of gum disease. Diabetic patients with untreated gum disease have a much more difficult time regulating their blood sugar which can lead to changes in medication and advancement of diabetic condition. The good news is that by addressing both issues together, it becomes easier to stabilize blood glucose.

Since the infection of gum disease is able to travel throughout your blood stream, treatment of certain autoimmune diseases can also be compromised. Because the body’s ability to naturally fight infection is suppressed, untreated gum disease can progress rapidly.

Treatment And Prevention Of Gum Disease

The key to treatment of gum disease is through prevention. Good home care including daily brushing and flossing are necessary to keeping your gum tissue healthy. Frequent professional dental cleanings and exams are crucial to detecting signs of periodontal disease early.

When periodontal disease is found in its earlier stages, a periodontal deep cleaning is required to effectively remove all tartar and bacteria from below the gum tissue. This treatment may take several appointments and often times requires the use of local anesthesia and antibiotics.

Not visiting your dentist frequently for professional dental cleanings and exams put you at a much higher risk for developing gum disease. Preventative dental visits are recommended every six months, although some patients may require more frequent visits. Patients with auto-immune disorders, history of periodontal disease and diabetic patients often need to have preventative care visits every 3-4 months.

Contact Eastpoint Dental of Mesa

Dr. Vinh Huynh, DMD provides the highest quality comprehensive care for his Mesa, Arizona patients. Contact our conveniently located office today to schedule your preventative care or new patient appointment. Your overall health begins with your oral health and our highly skilled staff looks forward to helping you achieve the healthiest version of you!

Leave comment