The most obvious and immediate effects of gum disease appear in the mouth. The gums become tender or swollen, bleed during brushing, or begin to recede. Teeth can even begin to fall out. While all of these symptoms carry risks of their own, they don’t match the dangers that can await patients who leave their gum disease untreated. From its earliest stage, gingivitis, gum disease can progress into periodontitis, which can do irreversible damage to soft tissues and bone. The problems don’t stop there. Scientific research has shown that oral health issues can also affect your systemic health, sometimes in very significant ways. Typically, these problems are the result of gum disease-related bacteria traveling through the bloodstream to major organs such as your heart and brain, where they compromise the health and functioning of these organs. The solution is to follow good dental hygiene habits at home, have routine dental visits, and, at the sign of trouble, seek skilled care from a specialist like Dr. Jack O’Neill.
Being aware of the mouth-body connection is a good start if you want to avoid complications. Beyond that, the choices you make are what can keep you from suffering its ill effects. Give your teeth and gums all the daily care they need, flossing, brushing, and performing all routine maintenance that Dr. O’Neill and your general dentist recommend. If your gums begin to exhibit signs of disease, Dr. O’Neill can apply his expertise right here in our Shreveport, LA office to help you avoid more serious problems down the road. As a board-certified periodontist, he specializes in restoring gum health through services including gum disease treatment, osseous surgery, periodontal maintenance, gum grafting, and gingivectomies. With his help, you can avoid becoming one of the 65 million Americans over age 30 who suffer from gum disease and are in danger of more troubling consequences.