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The inflammation and infection of gum disease threatens the oral health and quality of life of millions of Americans each year. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control found that an estimated 64 percent of people over 65 years of age have moderate-to-severe gum disease. However, gum disease problems are not limited to just the elderly. In fact, the American Dental Association estimates approximately 47 percent of people over the age of 30 suffer from some form of gum disease.

In many of these cases, gum disease is linked to oral hygiene issues that could have been prevented. This is often the result of hardened tartar forming on the teeth near the gumline. The presence of this bacterial-rich substance promotes the inflammation and infection of the gum tissues.

This causes gingivitis with red or inflamed gums. This usually includes increased bleeding during regular brushing and flossing. Many people experiencing gingivitis symptoms also complain of issues with chronic bad breath.

If it’s not treated in short order, gingivitis can develop into the more dangerous form of periodontal disease known as periodontitis. This severe infection in the gums causes them to slowly recede from the base of your teeth, forming small pockets of bacterial infection near the roots of your teeth. In time, this can also result in a loss of bone structure, which can result in the loss of an otherwise healthy tooth.

Of course, your oral health is not the only thing that’s affected by gum disease. New research has also found that the systemic inflammation of gum disease can also have an impact on other medical conditions. This can be related to diabetes and heart disease as well as an increased chance of stroke.

It’s important to note that gum disease doesn’t cause these medical conditions. However, it can exacerbate symptoms and impact treatment options.

If you’re concerned that you might be developing gum disease in Sandy Springs, Georgia, you should call 404-692-7913 to understand your treatment options at Vernon Woods Dental Care Associates. Your dentist, Dr. Kathleen Tantuco, will be happy to help you!