Bleeding gums are a warning sign for periodontal disease (also known as gum disease), an affliction of the gums linked to several kinds of bacteria, including Streptococcus Mutans. It is one of the most widespread diseases in the world. The AmericanAcademy of Periodontology has estimated that more than 80% of the American population has some form of periodontal disease.
If left untreated, pockets of infection form between the gums and the roots of the teeth. Eventually, the tissue connecting the teeth and the gums begins to break down, causing the teeth to loosen. The underlying bone structure also may actually begin to deteriorate and diminish.
Periodontal disease, not tooth decay, is the most common cause of adult tooth loss in most industrialized countries. During the past decade, growing scientific evidence suggests that patients with periodontal disease are at greater risk for heart disease, lung disease and other systemic disorders. Studies have also linked periodontal disease to low birth weight and stroke. So in a real way, periodontal disease may be life threatening!
Not only do diabetics have a much higher incidence of severe gum disease; their diabetes may actually be aggravated because of gum disease, as recent studies have shown.
Gum disease is a very serious illness. It can provoke pain and suffering, sometimes for years on end, with recurring visits to the dentist and ultimately the periodontist for surgery.
If left untreated, it can have a pronounced effect on wellness in general.